Just Charlie G

I’m really falling in love with some of the smaller lesser known brands out there at the moment and before Christmas I received a beautifully scented package from Savonnerie London.

All the products are handmade in the UK and are made with botanical extracts chosen for their benefits to your skin. All products are sulphate, paraben, artificial colouring, artificial fragrance, petrochemical free. Ingredients are all sustainably sources, produced and packaged. All products are vegetarian but a few items contain milk, beeswax or honey.

Anyway, onto the bits I’ve been trying out.

Savonnerie London

Firstly the Cedar Natural Soap £4.50. Actually this soap was popped in the package for my husband but it was too late, I’d claimed it for myself, the smell, the smell is to die for. Cedar essential oil, hint of cinnamon. This is such a beautiful soap, and very moisturising. Can’t recommend highly enough, especially the price which is fabulous. Next on my list is Honeycake Soap followed by Marmalade!

Then there’s the Nutritive Lip Balm £4.96. A beautiful lip balm, very moisturising, with Tamanou oil for healing and camellia and rosehip. This is as good as any lip balm I’ve tried and I was advised to use this before bed and put around the outside of my lips as well… I was wary of doing this as sometimes using products around my lips can give me awful spots on my lips but I tried it anyway and I’ve had no adverse effects at all. This is just very lovely.

Then I’ve been trying out the Daily Facial Cleanser. £13.95. For me this is a cleanser I either use in the morning or as my second evening cleanse (after an oil based cleanser). I massage onto my face and then wipe away with warm water and a flannel. This is so gentle. Contains Aloe, Chamomile and Camellia Seed Extracts and this removes any last traces of make up and is so gentle. My skin feels lovely and soft after use.

Finally, the most gorgeous Body Butter ever. The Rose and Shea Body Butter is £12.95 and my first thought was that it’s quite a small pot for the money, and considering the size of my body 😉 Actually though this is incredible. I can’t explain it but the tiniest bit goes such a long way, the texture is rich, but light. Like it’s been whipped into a thick mousse consistency but once it’s rubbed in it doesn’t leave a greasy film on the skin, it just absorbs nicely leaving you so soft and beautifully scented…oh the scent. You have to like rose obviously, but Rose Absolute is just to die for. This is sheer bliss. I’ve been using this regularly, and there’s still loads and loads left, but I’ve been using this particularly on the site of my scar from my recent operation. Beautiful stuff.

So there we have it, beautiful products, beautifully packaged. I have felt a real shift in my attitude towards products these days and would much rather buy my skincare and bath and body products from these lesser known, smaller brands. There are such gems tucked away! I heartily recommend Savonnerie and the beautiful products.

*Disclosure – PR Samples*

Really can’t knock anything from Melvita, ethical, deliciously scented and pure quality.

Got just a few lovely bits to show you today.

Firstly they have some beautiful gift sets for Christmas in a good range of prices but I’m loving the Apicosma Discovery Set. The packaging is beautiful.


This lovely set is £15 and contains the Body Milk, Lip Balm and Hand Cream. The Apicosma products are all honey based, smell divine and are really nourishing.

The other things I wanted to show you is the Yellow Fruits Duo. £19.50 on special offer at the time of writing.

The yellow fruits in question are Apple, Quince and Hazelnut which makes for a deliciously fruity and different scent. I’ve been loving using these though! There’s a shower scrub (perfect amount of scrub for a product that you use as a shower gel rather than just an exfoliator) and a beautiful body milk which moisturises well and leaves the scent on your skin all day. I’ve also been using the Berry Body Milk which is equally divine.

If you’ve not yet tried out Melvita, get to it, it’s a wonderful, underrated brand and one I would recommend to anyone.

*Disclosure – PR Samples*

Jo Malone London Hand Drawn Gift Boxes

Love this! From 27th July, on selected dates (which I don’t have at the moment), there will be artists based in the Jo Malone London Boutiques and they will customise your gift box with your favourite London landmark for no extra charge.

I think that’s such a great idea, and amazing to see that the company isn’t rushing at the chance to earn extra money for it too! There is a £60 minimum spend but it’s worth bearing in mind that that is easily done in Jo Malone!

As for what was inside my box, well that was a nice surprise.

Lime Basil and Mandarin Body Creme

Lime Basil and Mandarin Body Creme (£48). This is a famous scent and is the company’s signature scent. When I first applied it I wasn’t too sure. I loved the smell but felt it was more of a kitchen or a bathroom room scent…it was also very strong which is no bad thing if you love a scent. Over the course of an hour I fell in love completely with this scent. It’s fresh, strong, clean and beautiful. In terms of texture, beautifully moisturising.

Thank you Jo Malone London, and if you are in London, needing some Jo Malone purchases and fancy one of these lovely boxes, do pop along (but check the stores to make sure the artists are in!).

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

Paul & Joe Beaute Summer 2012

As always I fell in love with the Paul & Joe Summer collection, A Midsummer’s Night Dream and wanted pretty much everything in it. I received and wrote about the very pretty Love Potion lip gloss. Since then I’ve received another couple of items as PR Samples and bought several bits myself so here’a picture heavy look at them all.

Starting with Pixie Nail Enamel £10.50. Holographic Silver Glitter, pictures do it no justice. This is so pretty and it wears very well. Gorgeous on its own and equally pretty as a layering polish, it is fairly opaque though, two coats ensure it’s fully opaque.

Paul & Joe Pixie Nail

Paul & Joe Pixie Nail Enamel

Paul & Joe Pixie Nail

A Midsummer’s Night Sparkling Pressed Powder £22. A stunning powder, Paul & Joe do pressed powders extremely extremely well and this is no exception. It’s incredibly beautiful but please be warned, it is also incredibly glittery.
Paul & Joe Midsummer's Night Sparkling Pressed Powder

Paul & Joe Midsummer's Night Sparkling Pressed Powder
Once the over spray is removed you’re left with three shades of powder.
Paul & Joe Midsummer's Night Sparkling Pressed Powder

Paul & Joe Midsummer's Night Sparkling Pressed Powder
When you blend the powders together what you get is translucent but extremely glittery, you may have to enlarge this to see how glittery it really is.
Paul & Joe Midsummer's Night Sparkling Pressed Powder
Stunning product but definitely one to avoid if you are not into glitter, and definitely for evenings only. And possibly not if you’re old, like me. I don’t care, mutton is how I like to dress these days!

Summer Edition Blotting Papers £3.50. I’ve blogged about the Paul & Joe Blotting papers before and they are now something of a handbag staple for me. This is a very adorable packet.
Paul & Joe Summer Edition Blotting Papers

Face Colour G in Nubile and Faune £15 each. There is a further blush shade called Nymph which is a pink, but what really caught my eye with these two shades was the possibilities for sculpting and shaping the cheek, they are gorgeous, beautifully pigmented and they work together extremely well indeed. They aren’t matte or shimmery, they just have a satin feel.
Paul & Joe Face Colour G in Nubile and Faune

Paul & Joe Face Colour G in Nubile and Faune

Paul & Joe Face Colour G in Nubile and Faune

Paul & Joe Face Colour G in Nubile and Faune

Shimmery Body Lotion £24. Not so much as a body lotion as a lightly moisturising gel with some very pretty glitter. Again, I’d say, possibly not one for daytime unless you’re 14, but very pretty indeed for hot Summer nights and definitely one for the suitcase if you’re off on holiday. Such a pretty product. Also very lightly scented, I can’t quite pinpoint what the scent is, it’s just fresh and light.
Paul & Joe Shimmering Body Lotion

Paul & Joe Shimmering Body Lotion

Paul & Joe Shimmering Body Lotion

Paul & Joe Shimmering Body Lotion

Paul & Joe Shimmering Body Lotion
What a pretty collection, entirely in keeping with the collection title, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, all glittery and fairy like. I’ve still got my eye on the single shadows released with the collection so we’ll have to see what I’ve got left in the way of funds and if there’s any stock left when I do!

The collection is available from one of my favourite retailers, Beauty Bay. Check it out!

*Disclosure – the blotting papers and body lotion were provided to me free of charge for review purposes*

L’Occitane are really on a roll at the the moment. There seems to be new products coming out very often which is great news if you’re a L’Occitane fan, bad news for the purse strings.

First thing I wanted to tell you about is L’Occitane’s first cologne collection. Unsurprisingly inspired by the region of Provence, there are three to choose from all in gorgeous retro packaging.

I’ve been trying out Eau Ravissante, which is the floral Cologne for women. Flower petals and citrus, it’s clean and its fresh and its perfect for Summer days (looks out of window), okay, it’s perfect for any time, but especially Summer days! I find the scent doesn’t last for hours and hours on me, but this is a Cologne, not an Eau de Parfum, it’s designed to be splashed on liberally. I have the handbag sized 50ml bottle (£21) but the large bottle is 300ml (£37) and thats HUGE so you can really splash it on as often as you like.  There are also coordinating shower gels  (£13) so you can layer if you wish.  The other two fragrances in the range are the Unisex Cologne, Eau Universelle, which is bergamot and grapefruit and the gorgeous sounding men’s Cologne, Eau Captivante which is bergamot and lime. All available now!

The second thing I wanted to tell you about is the Anglica range. Again the range is designed for hydration during the Summer months and includes three products. There’s an Instant Hydration Mask (£19) which is gel consistency and works in 3 minutes, put it on, brush your teeth and wash it off, plumped radiant skin! Sounds great, then there’s an Exfoliating Gel (£17) which does what it sounds like it does, gently buffs to reveal fresh revitalised skin. Finally there’s the Hydration Face Mist (£15).

Obviously it’s not been hot enough the last few weeks for me to really put this through it’s paces, but I’ve been using it as the final step in my make up routine, as a kind of setting spray. It seems to add a touch of glow and it certainly feels refreshing, if I was off somewhere really hot holiday I’d definitely want this baby with me.

Oh that’s not all there is though, there’s the Almond range too. This is a range for the body to help you firm up and get lush smooth skin. Again, there are three products in the line. A Shower Scrub (£13) to prepare the skin, ideally after that you’d then use the main product, Almond Shaping Delight (£34) a gel-cream to firm, resculpt (thanks to flavonoids to drain excess fluids and a plant complex to break down fatty deposits) and tighten thanks to the “mesh effect” of almond proteins on the surface of the skin. Finally there’s Beautiful Shape (£28).

I had to include a pictures of the external packaging here because I love it.  Beautiful Shape is a gel-cream specifically to help tackle cellulite on the thighs and bum. LOVE this. I was expecting it have an almond scent but its got a minty sort of effect so when you apply it you can feel it cooling and lightly tingling. Feels great! I’ve not been using this for the full 28 days yet but it promises results within that time period and I can confirm my skin is incredibly soft. I’m optimistic.

So there we have it, a bit of a lengthy post I know but there’s a lot happening at L’Occitane at the moment! Everything you could want for Summer.

*Disclosure – PR Samples*

I don’t very often blog about press releases as I’m not generally happy to promote something I’ve not tried myself unless its something I find really appealing or exciting and so it is that I’ve yet to try anything from the Andrea Garland range but every time I get sent a press release for her products I am filled with a desire to own everything so I really must remedy the situation soon and these products might just be the ones, one in particular. The first item I’m going to show you.

Lemon Balm Body Gloss £24

Andrea Garland

Love the packaging and the name of the product. It makes me want to smother myself in it. Lemon Body Gloss! A “lustre loving” oil to moisturise and give radiance and glow. Yummy ingredients, Camellia oil, coconut oil, crambe oil, broccoli seed oil, avocado oil and then Lemon Balm and grapefruit to smell yummy, calm, uplift and keep insects away. Perfect for holiday evenings.

Then there’s the Chamomile & Oak Sleeping Beauty Cream £28

Andrea Garland

A night cream filled with gorgeous things, Oak and Millet for line and wrinkle reduction, Camomile to calm and soothe, hyaluronic acid to hydrate, smooth and plump, pumpkin see oil to lift and tone and anti oxidant rich Rice Bran Oil. I love the sound of this and the name and the packaging!

Finally, the Molly Necklace £28

Andrea Garland

A tribute to Molly Ringwald in her Pretty in Pink heyday. Red mirrored sunglasses with a clear and a red tinted lip balm. WANT!!!!

I’m thinking if I have to choose I’ll go for the necklace… in fact its my birthday this month… oh husband dearest….!

Melvita Apicosma Skin-Softening Body Milk

Just a quick post about this beautiful body lotion. This is a glorious body lotion, a milk that absorbs super fast into the skin but is very moisturising and chock full of gorgeous ingredients.

It has a light fruit scent and contains macadamia oil, chestnut extract and flower pollen and Melvita’s patented 3-Honey-Complex. A “synergy” of three organic honeys (thyme, acacia and orange blossom) designed to target dry skin. It nourishes, repairs and revitalises.

Am loving this for a daily moisturiser. It’s light and quickly absorbed, perfect for slapping on after a morning shower but it really works well on those dry bits.

I think I’ve mentioned before that Melvita is a new brand to me but I’ve spent nearly an hour filling a virtual shopping basket and that’s testament to my love of the products I’ve been sent to try.

I’m looking at all the beauty oils, all the hair products, the scrubs, the fragrances and lots more!

The Apicosma Skin-Softening Body Milk is available from the Melvita website and is £17.50 for 200ml.

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

This is a bit of a departure for me in some ways but today I want to talk about a classic product. A classic product with a proven track record because it’s unchanged since it’s launch in 1950.

Astral Moisturiser

Yep Astral! I know I’m usually all about the fancy expensive stuff, and it’s true I am but sometimes you have to just stop and think about the money you’re spending. And you know, I remember my own Mum having Astral when I was younger so if it’s good enough for my Mum…!

Now from the off I’m going to tell you that both of the above products were sent to me as press samples and both had a hefty press release accompanying it! I’m just going to cherry pick a few choice bits of info and then tell you what I think rather than bore you all rigid with too much info.

First thing is, I thought Astral was a face cream, it’s not. It’s an all over cream. Face and Body. I haven’t tried this on my face, either of them, it’s taken me some time to find a regime that suits my skin and I’m determined to stick to it, so both of the above products have been tested elsewhere, on some very dry skin. Original Astral seems to be largely aimed at older/menopausal skin which is another reason I haven’t tried it on my face, I’m not quite there yet thankfully!

Okay so Original Astral is full of balanced and nourishing ingredients is what makes it  perfect all over moisturiser, it can also be used as After Sun and make up remover. Personally I’ve been applying it liberally all over myself, but in particular my lower legs and upper arms, both of which can be very prone to dryness. I’ve had instant relief and with continued use my skin is starting to feel softer and smoother, even my husband commented the other day that he thought my arms were feeling smoother, result. I’ve tried a lot of beautiful body creams, particularly since I’ve started blogging, but this one does all that they did at a fraction of the price. I’m not ready to ditch my posh lotions and potions yet because sometimes when you’ve had a crap day, slathering yourself in a beautiful expensive lotion makes you feel a million dollars, but for day to day use I can’t see me switching from Astral! Now I need to mention that this cream is perfumed, and it’s a classic scent some may feel a little old fashioned. It’s not overpowering, but it smells lovely and I find it rather a comforting scent, alas I can’t describe it, except to say it’s like the smell of Mums!

Original Astral comes in 3 sizes, 50ml  (the handbag pot) £1.52, 200ml £4.28 and 500ml £8.16. At prices like that you can’t really argue.

I must also give special mention to the new Light and Creamy Astral. This one appears to be aimed at slightly younger skin, the 40+ range, but I’m taking it as read that with both of the products, that is irrelevant if you’re putting it on your body, which I am. Light and Creamy, is as you might suspect lighter than Original Astral, with a new (lovely) fragrance and is enriched with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. It’s non-greasy which is nice (not that I’ve found Original Astral overly greasy) and it’s easily and quickly absorbed whilst still feeling nicely moisturising. This works a charm on my whole body, but I prefer the Original Astral on my dryer bits. So I’m thinking when (and if) Summer really comes the Light and Creamy will be absolutely perfect.

Astral Light & Creamy is available in 200ml and is £4.28.

All in all I think this is my new favourite body cream. I’ll still be using my posh ones, but I’ll keeping those for special occasions and using Astral for all my day to day needs. I’m super impressed. Not only does it work, smell nice, have a reasonable price, but it feels like a more expensive product I think.

Available from all the usual retailers, Boos, Sainsbury’s, Superdrug, Tesco and all good chemists.

*This is not a sponsored post (although I’m aware it reads like one!) but both pots were provided free of charge for review purposes*

Aromatherapy Associates Renew Rose Hydrating Body Gel

Another lovely product from Aromatherapy Associates. It is almost as though they are a brand who can do no wrong when it comes to products. I’ve not yet had a dud.

The Renew Rose Hydrating Body Gel is as the name would suggest, a body moisturiser in a gel form. It’s made with damask rose water, geranium and evening primrose oil and is lightly perfumed. It’s a lovely scent but it is light, I’d like it to be a little stronger, but that’s a question of taste and I’m well known for loving strong strong scents. I really love the smell, so much I’d like it to linger longer! I must say that after using this both my daughter and my husband commented on how nice I smelled.

It does leave my skin feeling soft and moisturised but it is a light moisturiser and as such I’d recommend it as being more suitable for the Summer months when you want something less intensive and I’d imagine that this would be wonderful if you’d caught the sun…

Perfect for someone who likes a light floral scent that isn’t overpowering and doesn’t need a heavy duty moisturiser for their body. At the moment I’m all about the Enrich Body Butter which I love.

The Renew Rose Hydrating Body Gel is available from www.aromatherapyassociates.com and costs £27.50 for 200ml so is definitely a luxury product.

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

Yes to Carrots Super Rich Body Butter

I have a bit of an issue with the Yes To range. I didn’t get on too well with the Yes to Cucumbers range as I hate the smell of cucumber and I have to admit I would never have bought the  Yes To Carrots range, not because I don’t like the smell of carrots but because I just find the idea of (obviously) vegetable based beauty products unappealing. I decided to get over myself and give it a go though, all in the name of blogging of course!

Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong, this a beautiful body butter! It’s made with carrot seed oil, carrot juice, pumpkin, sweet potato and Dead Sea mud and shea butter. It smells gorgeous and has a beautiful texture and best of all it does a great job!

Yes to Carrots Super Rich Body Butter

So I’m won over and will have another look at the range and see what else takes my fancy.

I don’t know if I imagined it but isn’t there a Yes To Blueberry’s range? See that doesn’t sound off putting, clearly I have an issue with vegetables!

Anyway, you can get this 250ml Tub from www.victoriahealth.com for £9.50.

*Disclosure – PR Sample*