Just Charlie G

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.

Vichy Idealia PeelingWhat’s that you say? An overnight peel suitable for even the most sensitive skin? Well I’m all over that!

It’s well documented on this blog that my skin is tricky to care for, but it seems pretty well controlled at the minute other than the occasional blemish and what seems to be the very sudden onset of ageing (it’s like I woke up one morning and was suddenly 10 years older), otherwise though, the dryness is mostly under control, blemishes are far less frequent and its not too bad, but it could be better. And that’s where Vichy Laboratoires Idealia Peeling comes in.

Vichy Idealia PeelingVichy Idealia PeelingSo what is it? Idealia Peeling is a water-light liquid applied to the skin at night, before your night cream that refines your pores, improves your skin texture and smooths fine lines in four weeks. The peeling action is gentle (4% Glycolic Acid and 5% Hepes), and promises an improvement to radiance, softness and brightness when used nightly for a month.

I’ve got all the blurb here but I’m not a big fan of typing out scientific facts I don’t really understand here, so lets stick to my opinions!

First up, application. Easy to apply, you just simply add to your cotton wool pad and apply to your clean skin, then apply your moisturiser and head to bed. I find I get a slight tingling when I apply but it’s comfortable.  This isn’t an in depth review as I haven’t been using it long enough, but I wanted to give a heads up because for those of us with sensitive skin, this is brilliant. I’ve had no adverse effects so far, but when I wake in the morning my skin feels so smooth and soft. I’ve been using this for a few days now and I swear to god, I think my fine lines (not the deep ones – boo!) look a little less obvious. A little goes a really long way and I’m very optimistic that in a couple of weeks I’ll be glowing! I’m seriously impressed, as someone who breaks out at the drop of a product name, to use something as scary sounding as a peel and not have my skin freak out is a big deal!

You might be wondering what the record is in the background? Well that’s because Vichy have teamed up with DJ Becky Tong and as part of the new campaign Becky can be seen revealing her glowing skin from behind some of her top albums covers, and Skin by Flume is her favourite 🙂

Vichy Laboratoires Idealia Peeling is  £30 for 100ml and is available from Boots nationwide as well as Boots.com

*products received free of charge for review purposes

I was excited to see bareMinerals launch a line of matte liquid lipsticks, not only do I really love a matte finish and a liquid lipstick but with such a good range of colours (10), I was optimistic I would find a nude that would suit me.  I searched for swatches online and decided upon Swag.

The Gen Nude collection is quite large and also includes Gen Nude Buttercream Lipglosses as well as Gen Nude Under Over Lip Liners, but I actually opted for a bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipliner in the shade “Thrilled”. I suspect, but don’t quote me on it, that these are being discontinued, but they are currently still available on lots of sites. I opted for this as I was able to find decent swatches whereas with the new Gen Nude lip liners, I couldn’t be sure what I was buying would match my Matte Liquid Lipcolour.

bareMinerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipstick

When I compared the liner and Lipcolour in swatches, they didn’t seem like a good enough match but actually on my lips they work perfectly together, and the Thrilled lip liner actually works with quite a lot of my existing products. Otherwise though, I don’t find it remarkable, in fact it feels a little draggy when I apply it, but it does do the job and I’m using it almost daily. The twist up mechanism is good, but I do feel like I am flying through the product and maybe a pencil would have been better value for money in the long run.

Marvelous Moxie Lipliner in Thrilled Left and Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipcolor in Swag, Right:

bareMinerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipstick

Swag is the most perfect lipstick I’ve ever owned. Honestly I’m not exaggerating! Firstly, I adore the colour, it is my perfect everyday shade and the formula is amazing. It goes on smoothly and feels creamy on application, but it dries quickly and it does so without sucking the moisture out of my lips. This is important because I can be a bit prone to dry lips in the first place, but this doesn’t make it worse in anyway, once it’s dried I cannot feel it on my lips at all. I also find the wear time on this is amazing, if I apply at 8am it will still be visible at tea time, with the only exception to this being if I’ve eaten something greasy. Otherwise, while it does fade, it fades evenly and very slowly. I will definitely need more of these in my life.

bareMinerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid LipstickI bought both of these products from Escentual, with my own money, because at the time of purchasing, and at the time of writing, the products are on offer. The Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipcolors are £14.45 (RRP £17) and the Marvelous Moxie Lip Liner is £11.05 (RRP £13).

People who have been with me since this blog started will know that my skin has been an ongoing battle for a long time. Plagued with dryness and spots, as well as natural ageing and reactive skin, has meant finding suitable skincare has been not easy. Products designed for spots tend to aggravate my dryness while products for dry skin nearly always break me out. It’s frustrating! There have been several rave reviews of brands/products over the years all of which still stand, but for some reason I tend to find that after a while (often months) everything goes back to normal (bad). I have no idea why that is, but it means the search is only ever over temporarily.

That’s why I am blogging today with some hesitance! But I’m here to share my love for the Body Shop Vitamin E Range. The Vitamin E range is extensive and I certainly don’t have all the products in the line, but I’ve added the products I am using, one at a time, slowly so I can see what suits me and what doesn’t.

The Body Shop Vitamin EThe Vitamin E range can  help to protect against pollution and is great for premature ageing. What I really love about it is that it seems to be deeply moisturising, without being too rich for my skin. Quick reviews of all the items I have, below

Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash  (£7.50 – 125ml) – This is brilliant stuff. I heard that foaming cleansers dry out your skin but I don’t think this one does. A little goes a long way and has no issues at all removing my make up. It’s lightly foaming, feels rich and creamy and doesn’t leave my face feeling tight and dry. Win!

Vitamin E Hydrating Toner (£7.50 – 250ml) –  Alcohol free toner that leaves my skin feeling ready to go!  Has a slightly thicker than water texture, as if it’s a gel maybe. I apply this twice a day religiously. Lovely stuff and a brilliant price. Actually the whole range is!

Vitamin E Aqua Boost Essence Lotion (£10 – 160ml) – This was my latest purchase and I wasn’t sure what it was for and I’m still not. I love it anyway because it just slots into my routine. Again this is not watery, like a traditional toner, it’s slightly thicker than the Hydrating Toner and I’d describe it as a serum/gel. You add a couple of drops to your hand and pat into your skin after toner, before moisturiser. It absorb very quickly, leaving no residue on the skin and I think just adds another layer of moisture and protection against free radicals.

Vitamin E Intense Moisture Serum (£14 – 30ml) – It’s been a long time since I’ve used a serum. I found nearly everything I tried in the past caused me to break out, either too rich or too packed full of silicones. This one is so light in texture, it leaves my skin feeling amazing after application and isn’t at all greasy.

Vitamin E Overnight Serum in Oil (£16 – 28ml) – This is the product I was most nervous about using, my spot prone skin doesn’t get on well with oils, but I’m pleased to say I’ve had no problems with this at all! I use four drops massaged into my skin every night before bed and wake up to soft moisturised skin.

Vitamin E Moisture Cream (£13 – 50ml) – Out of all the products I have, this is the one I think of as my hero product. I use it daily, morning and evening, after all the other products and I think it works like a charm, Containing not only vitamin E but also hyaluronic acid this is the product that I really think stamps out my dryness. If feels so moisturising, but not at all rich, it is light and smooths in easily and quickly without leaving residue on my face. All the other products help my skin be plumper, and less dry, this is the one that the keeps it this way

Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream (£14 – 50ml) – This is the one product that doesn’t suit me too well. I kind of knew it wouldn’t be great for me when I bought it, but I was optimistic given my successes with the rest of the range.  It is just too rich for me, and applying all over my face definitely results in me waking up with blemishes, on my chin especially. I have however found it especially useful when my skin is really suffering. Like my nose was after a recent cold. I used this every night afterwards on my nose which was dry and red from constant nose blowing, and this really soothed and helped.

Vitamin E Refreshing Eyes Cube (£9.50 – 4g) – The name of this one annoys me because it’s not a cube! I know it’s supposed to be a play on Ice Cube, but still! Leaving that aside, eye cream is another product I’ve avoided for a while after two huge break outs under my eyes from creams that were too rich. Annoying because I know the skin around my eyes looks and feels so much better and less wrinkly when I use it. This one is fab! A twist up stick of cooling cream, although I’d describe it more as a balm, it glides on and cools. I use it morning and night and have had no issues so far. It’s worth mentioning that this has a tiny amount of sparkle, I find it very hard to spot, so you don’t need to worry about glittery eyes, but it’s worth knowing it’s there! My under eyes definitely feel plumper and smoother.

Finally, and not pictured is the Vitamin E Hydrating Face Mist (£10 for 100ml). I don’t use this Face Mist as part of my skincare routine but instead keep it with my make up and use it as a finishing spray to set everything in place. I’m sure it’ll come into its own in Summer too!

So conclusions:

I read over on British Beauty Blogger that The Body Shop may be up for sale… this will just be terrible new for my face!

Anyway, I wholeheartedly recommend this range, so do head over to The Body Shop website and check it out!

*All Products purchased by me and opinions unbiased!

 

 

 

Heads up for this beautiful brand, Kind Natured.

Kind NaturedIf you’re looking for body care products that are absolutely premium but at affordable prices, then look no further. The Kind Natured range seems fairly extensive, with lots of products to choose from, from hair care, kids products, bath products as well as hand and body care. The brand prides itself on being 97% natural and free from Sulphates, Parabens and Petrochemicals.

The products I’ve tried work exceedingly well, the Foaming Sugar Scrub in particular is wonderful and the Body Lotion, but what I feel makes them so premium are the beautiful scents from the products I tried, the ones containing Monoi are amazing, such long lasting exotic scents. Truly beautiful! If I’ve not sold you on the range already, then try the prices, not one of their products retails for over £5.99.

Using Kind Natured products, at least these ones I’ve tried, feels like being in on a secret, a really good beauty secret. Fantastic effective products with beautiful long lasting scents that don’t cost the earth.

If you only buy one product though, my top pick is the Moisturising Coconut & Monoi Foaming Sugar Scrub, it’s absolutely dreamy.

The whole range is available on Boots.com, go check it out!

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

Gosh, I don’t know where this year has gone but here we are writing/reading what will be my last post before Christmas. And so it is that I’m reviewing a couple of products from bareMinerals. The Original SPF15 Foundation in Fair and Well-Rested Eye Brightener SPF20. I really apologise for the next two photographs. Call it retro, they are in the style of a beauty blog 2009. No props, just on my table!

bareminerals fair barenminerals fairI’m no stranger to BareMinerals foundation actually, I tried the Get Started in Light back in 2011 (post here!) and it wasn’t a great success on account of the orangeness. I remember the shades just weren’t right for me at all, in particular the concealer which was really dark and orange on me. So I gave up. I don’t know if Fair is a new shade in recent years, or if has always been there, but I had a craving to try a mineral foundation again and discovered  the shade Fair.

As well as the Foundation I also picked up the Well-Rested Eye Brightener SPF20, which is a mineral powder to be swept on around the eyes to help hide dark circles and minimise the look of tiredness. I picked it up to act as a general concealer, both around my eyes and on blemishes. It is a great deal lighter than the generic concealer, Bisque so I hope it might work for me.

Swatches, Fair Original Foundation on the Left and Well-Rested on the right, if you look closely!bareminerals fairTo apply, I start with the Well-Rested. I dust this around my eyes with a fluffy brush, otherwise it sits in all my fine lines, and then I cover redness and blemishes using the Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush which I already owned. As soon as I started using this I remembered how much I love mineral concealers. Redness vanishes and it really packs onto blemishes and it never ever seems to budge. I tend to get those hard shiny spots without a head that can be so hard to conceal, this stuff is like magic and I’m annoyed I didn’t try it sooner!

Then onto the Foundation. Again I use a bareminerals brush, namely the Full Flawless Application Brush. The jars are sifter jars so you tip a little into the lid, swirl your brush around, tap off the excess then buff into your skin. A little goes along way. Coverage is extremely good, but stays looking extremely natural. Things to note are a) the longer you wear this, the more natural it looks b) carry a brush around with you, all you need to do is buff again and flawless finish is restored. When I’ve finished applying my foundation, if I can spot any other marks or blemishes I go over with the concealer brush and the foundation, dabbing on only the tiniest amount. I finish with a gentle swirl with a very soft kabuki. It’s just brilliant.

The colour match for me, Fair, is perfect, it’s so perfect that I look spectacularly pale (I am very pale!) but uniformly so, so there’s no skimping on the bronzer and blusher. I need to add a touch of colour back to my face, but in a good way rather than redness!

After immediate application, it can look a touch powdery, nothing I find unappealing, but as I mentioned, over time it settles and become more and more natural. It’s just brilliant.

Honestly I’m completely sold and I can see why the brand is so huge. More things to note:

Immediately after application.

bareminrals fair bareminerals fairI’ve just invested in the Mineral Veil too and will review that in due course. I bought all my bits from Look Fantastic, the Foundation was £26.50 but I bought it during one of their huge discount events, and the Well-Rested eye Brightener was £19.00 but again I bought it with a large discount.

And all that remains is to wish you all a Merry Christmas and I hope to see you again when it’s all over! Thank you for reading in 2016!

*Products featured in this review purchase by me with my own money

I recently received a beautiful package courtesy of Woods of Windsor. I’ll be honest, Woods of Windsor as a brand were not on my radar at all until this beautiful parcel arrived.

Woods of WindsorI think at a glance it’d be easy to see the products, read the scents and dismiss this brand as being for the older generation but a closer look reveals products that not only perform well, smell beautiful but are also affordable luxuries.

The range of products include Hand Creams, Hand Washes, Soaps, Drawer Liners, Dusting Powders, Bath and Shower Gels as well as much more.

Lets start by talking about the beautiful packaging. The whole range had a revamp in Autumn, drawing inspiration from both modern and vintage flower illustrations. Have a closer look, it’s beautiful and makes the products worthy of any dressing table or gift.

Woods of Windsor Woods of Windsor Woods of Windsor Woods of Windsor

Looking at the website, it would seem the main fragrance lines are White Jasmine, Honeyed Pear & Amber, Pomegranate & Hibiscus, Blue Orchid & Water Lily, True Rose, Lily of the Valleyand Lavender. I’ve not tried all of the scents, but let me tell you that all the products I have tried have been beautiful, but Honeyed Pear & Amber is absolutely stunning. White Jasmine (I LOVE Jasmine) and Blue Orchid & Water Lily are also worthy of special mention.

Honestly, this is one of the nicest ranges I’ve tried in a long, and not at all granny-ish!Woods of Windsor As for the products themselves, I have been especially enjoying the Bath & Shower Gels, as well as the Dusting Powder which I have been dusting on with wild abandon using it’s big fluffy powder puff. Even the kids beg for a dusting after their baths!

Truly a beautiful range and if you are still looking for Christmas Presents, you might not be too late so head over to the Woods of Windsor website to grab some beautiful gifts! Prices start at £6.99.

*Products Received Free of Charge for Review Purposes 

Just a quick heads up for the Foreo Cleansing Discovery Must-haves gift set.

Fores Cleansing Discover Must HavesRegular readers will know I’m a big fan of the Foreo devices and the LUNA Play is perfect either for travelling or for someone who just wants to try out a Foreo cleansing device before plumping for one of the larger models. The LUNA Play is a small silicone face cleansing device that is good for up to 100 uses and then you bin it, and this gift set comes with 15ml Day Cleanser and 15ml Night Cleanser. The gift is a steal at £29 because if you bought the products separately it’d cost £43.

You can see my full review of the Foreo LUNA Play here but it’s definitely a worthy purchase and a great idea for your beauty loving friend who has everything or for yourself! I’ve got one of these in use and another two tucked away for future use. I can’t imagine anyone regretting buying one of these, the cleanse really well along with your chosen product, as well as giving you a massage.

foreo cleansing discovery

Also available in Mint as well as Pearl Pink as shown.

For this and other sets available for Christmas, head over to the Foreo website.

*Product received free of charge for review purposes