Just Charlie G

New and just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month Jo Malone Fragrances have just released the Red Roses Body and Hand Wash. For every bottle sold during the month of October, they will be donating £5  to Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign.  The BCA raises funds for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and is instrumental in bringing lifesaving breast cancer awareness messages to millions.

Jo Malone London Red Roses Body and Hand Wash
Jo Malone London Red Roses Body and Hand Wash
Jo Malone London Red Roses Body and Hand Wash

The Body and Hand Wash is a gorgeous shade of pink and has the most amazing scent. It instantly takes me back to my childhood and making rose petal “perfume”. It just smells of pure roses to me and is sublime. It lasts a long time too. If I wash my hands with this stuff, they are still scented when I wash my hands the next time. Beautiful and well worth a purchase given the generous donation.

Available now from the UK Boutiques and www.jomalone.com.

I’m just going to start by showing you a couple of examples associated with the Jo Malone Wild Bluebell Collection because I think they are just stunning.

Jo Malone Wild Bluebell Body & Hand Wash
Jo Malone Wild Bluebell Body & Hand Wash

I just find the images incredibly alluring and they REALLY make me want to try the products! Advertising at it’s best I guess!

So I’d say that the delivery man bringing this to your door is incredibly exciting.

Jo Malone Wild Bluebell Body & Hand WashJo Malone Wild Bluebell Body & Hand Wash
I’m really sorry about that stock image there, I thought I’d taken a photo of the bottle but I hadn’t! oops. Anway. That right there is the Wild Bluebell Body and Hand Wash.
The top notes of the fragrance are bluebell and clove, the heart of the scent is lily of the valley, eglantine and jasmine and the base is white amber and musk. It just smells beautiful, and floral, but not in a traditional way. I’m not sure what it is that makes it not traditional, but traditionally (!) I really don’t like floral scents. I do however, love this.
I have to confess to an embarrassing thing. When this turned up I ripped open the box and saw the words hand wash, fitted the (included) pump and rushed off to wash my hands. It was a good week later  I realised this was a hand and body wash and it’s now in the shower. At £30 for 250ml this isn’t a cheap product at all, and it seemed a little wasted as a hand wash, as a shower gel though, its glorious. I think this would make a lovely present for someone, a Mum, or sister, or really, any female!
Also in the range is of course a cologne, body cream and candle. I’d love to have a sniff of the cologne, but I’m still yearning for the Tea collection I missed out on. Not that I’m bitter. Much!
Anyway, well worth a sniff if florals are your thing, this is a slightly off-beat floral which makes it right up my street. Beautiful.
*Disclaimer – PR Sample*

Lush Almond & Coconut Smoothie

Years ago when I was at the start of a Lush obsession that was to last a couple of years I tried the Creamed Almond & Coconut Smoothie and wasn’t impressed. I was so unimpressed that I handed it to Daddy and instructed he used it for the kids baths.  It didn’t smell of anything to me at the time and it didn’t seem to do much of anything really. But let me explain, I liked my Lush to STINK (of nice things of course) but the more heavily scented the product, the more I loved it. My house smelled like a Lush shop. I’m not even exaggerating. There was stinky stuff everywhere. This little pot of Smoothie didn’t stand a chance.

As time has passed and my Lush obsession has waned to a more reasonable level of just really liking some things they make, so my appreciation for the subtler things has become more refined.

Step forward the Almond & Coconut Smoothie. For the unitiated this little pot of goodness is a conditioning body wash. You lather it all over and wash it off again, just like a normal shower gel except this is full of extra goodness!

It doesn’t smell like you’d expect it to, you don’t open the pot and think it smells like coconut rice pudding, no it’s very gently scented with Jasmine, Vanilla, Ylang Ylang and Labdanum and of course almond and coconut. It’s rich, creamy, lathers up a treat and feels really soothing. I can’t imagine what I was thinking when I donated my last pot to my kids, what a waste.

Lush Almond & Coconut Smoothie

Oh and as an added bonus this is the absolute bees knees for shaving too. At £7.75 for 250g this is a really delicious shower treat I can afford to regularly get, not that you’d need to since a little goes a long way.

Definitely a rave review for this gorgeous product.

*Disclosure – PR Sample

Die hard Lush fans will no doubt be familiar with the Dirty fragrance, which was originally a men’s fragrance from the now sadly departed B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful. But now it’s back with some new additions to the range. Before you click away because you’re not interested in men’s products, stay with me, as I’m about to tell you how I’ve completely fallen in love with it.

I used to be a die hard lush fan, but not so much in recent years, time came where I couldn’t afford to spend the best part of £4 on a bath bomb, but still there are products they do they I still very highly rate such as Ocean Salt scrub, Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter and a few things I regard as staples. But anyway I digress. Dirty has got me head over heels in love with Lush all over again and it took me by surprise as I wasn’t expecting the package that turned up in the post at all, in fact I’m so out of touch with Lush I had no idea Dirty was coming back…

The scent itself is a strange one, spearmint, thyme and tarragon and salty sea. It smells clean. Clean, fresh and amazing although that being said, it is such an unusual scent that it won’t be for everyone. My husband certainly doesn’t get my new obsession at all, claiming I just smell like soap, which is no bad thing to my mind.

Anyway, the range has been launched and what I really love is that each item in the range is slightly different so layering is fabulous and I can’t stop doing it. Anyway, the range…

Lush Dirty

See what I did there, put my Dirty products in amongst a pile of dirty dishes. Yes I know, amazing.

So first up the shower gel, Dirty Spring Wash, £4.25 for 100g, £8.50 for 250g and £14.95 for 500g. I’ll be getting the big bottle when my little bottle is finished. This is really spearminty, but also herbal and just gorgeous.

Then there is one of the most amazing products in the range, the Dirty Shaving Cream £4.96 for 100g. I’ve tried a Lush shaving cream before, it was not a success, all it did was leave me with a clogged razor so I approached this with some trepidation.

Lush Dirty

In the pot its like a body lotion, not a thick one, you just rub it in and shave it off. The scent of this still has all the Dirty elements but I detect lavender in this. Anyway my legs are so incredibly soft. I’ll be using this and repurchasing no doubt.

Then there’s the Body Spray £12.50 for 180g. A-mazing. At first spray it makes me wonder if  like it, within a few minutes I’m sniffing frequently and insisting everyone near me sniffs me too. Beautiful and it lasts all day long.

Next up is the Styling Cream £5.50 for 100g. Actually I kept looking at this and thinking I couldn’t use it, clearly it’s designed for short hairstyles, so that men can grab a finger full and work it through their short style, but I’ve found its great it if I rub my finger over the top so that my fingers are lightly coated (rather than grabbing a blob) and then working it into my hair for a matte-ish tousled beachy hair look and again… that gorgeous scent!

Then we have the Dirty Perfume, a tester size is £2, 9g is £9 and 27g is £20 and again I’m just smitten. I dab this on after liberally applying all the rest of the products. If pirates wore perfume, they’d have worn this. Yarrr, sea salty, minty, herbal awesomeness. You’re getting the picture right? I LOVE this range. There’s also a solid perfume which I’ll probably buy when my tiny sample runs out as I can see me dabbing this on frequently.

Lastly in the range is a typically Lush innovation, the Dirty Toothy Tabs, £2 for 9g. A little box of white tablets. Take one, crush it between your teeth and start brushing the tablet will foam and off you go and brush your teeth. Strange taste! The first one I tried was just vile, bitter and horrible, but I tried again this morning and I had this strange floral and minty taste, definitely no overpowering mint flavour here. I must say though that after brushing although my breath doesn’t seem minty fresh, my teeth feel squeaky clean. Absolutely amazing. I am so programmed though to want a heavily minted scent I can’t see me converting to these. These will be of special interest to anyone worried about or actively avoiding fluoride since these contain none.

If floral isn’t your thing, but herbal, minty or oceanic is, then you have to check this range out, I’m totally in love. I mean who wouldn’t want to smell of sexy, clean pirates right??! And if it’s not for you then perhaps it might be for the man in your life!

I really wasn’t sure how I was going to write this review because on one hand I am totally in love with these products, but on the other hand there’s something I’m not so keen on, but I’m slowly changing my mind on that anyway!

John Masters Organics Blood Orange & VanillaJohn Masters Organics Blood Orange & Vanilla

First up, please excuse the stock images. I did receive small sample bottles of these products and I did take pictures but then I started using them… only now they are half used have I looked and realised the pictures I took are all out of focus!

So I was sent, as I say, some small samples of these and I thought they sounded beautiful. Blood Orange and Vanilla Shower Gel and Body Milk. I have to say that when I hopped in the shower with the gel, I wasn’t completely enamoured with the scent. I suppose my nose was expecting something like chocolate orange, but this is much more fruity than this, in fact to me it smelt almost alcoholic. A dream product for some! The shower gel lathered beautifully and felt really moisturising however, so when I hopped out of the shower and dried I pressed on with using this the Body Milk and this is a total and utter wow of a product. Seriously!

Rubbing it in it smells just like the shower gel, it’s not horrible by any means, and actually the more I use it, the more I want to use it and like it, but two things are amazing about the body milk. The first thing is that this is possibly the most moisturising body moisturiser I have ever used in my life. I suffer with that Keratosis Pilaris on my upper arms and yet my arms feel soft and actually silky after use. Secondly, after a very short while on the skin the scent mellows out into a wonderful fruity scent but with more emphasis on the vanilla… it’s almost a foodie scent,  but not quite. It’s delicious.

In the face of the evidence, my arms, I can’t help but add these products to my wish list. My husband even found himself stroking my arm the other day in a slightly odd manner, going “mmmmmmm sooo smoooothhhh”, which with my skin is virtually unheard of! I certainly don’t expect any kind of results from a body milk, a body butter at a push, but this completely exceeds expectations.

So yes, I want these products in my life. Yes I plan to buy them when I’ve finished the samples (and the Soap & Glory Tote bundle of stuff) and when I do I’ll be buying from the fabulous Active Beauty. A great site stocking a wide range of fab products including this range. You can find the the Body Milk and shower gels there retailing for £18 each for 230ml.

If you haven’t checked out Active Beauty then do so, they have some absolutely fab ranges, especially in the hair care ranges!

In these winter months our skin needs a little bit of extra help to keep it soft and radiant and to stave off the dullness and dry patches. Origins have it covered. They make a wealth of body and face skincare products designed to tackle all levels of care and this post is just a little peek at a few of the options available.

Firstly the Origins Gloomaway Grapefruit Bath Bar:

Gloriously grapefruity and super creamy and lathery. Just beautiful and uplifting and definitely helps to banish the winter blues!
A Perfect World, Creamy Body Cleanser with White Tea

This is really beautiful. Extremely rich and very lathery, the smallest bit goes a very long way. It smells fruity at first but there’s real tang of something which I assume is the tea, it’s really luxurious and incredibly moisturising. £20 for 200ml.
Precipitation Extra Continuous Moisture Recovery for Very Dry Skin
Oh good lord this stuff is immense, Very very rich. Full of super moisturising ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, sunflower, soybean oil, ginseng oils, aloe, murumuru butter, mango butter ad a fair few more. It’s so great I’ve been using it on my daughter’s eczema (although very definitely not on open wounds) and I’ve been using it on my dry calves like it is going out of fashion. The smell is also out of this world again, its grapefruit based. £26 for 200ml but a little goes a very long way.
At this point I must give an honourable mention to the Origins All-purpose High-elevation Cream I reviewed it HERE and it still can’t be beaten for elbows and extra stubborn dry patches.
Lastly there’s the Never A Dull Moment facial exfoliator
Well, my first thoughts on this were that it wasn’t scrubby enough for me, but then I do like my scubs to be at the more brutal end of the spectrum. However, this is a daily product, or at least, thats how I’ve been using it, and perhaps brutal might be a bit much for daily use, but I also note, whilst referring to the details for this post, that for a more exfoliating effect you can leave it on your skin for a couple of minutes before washing off so I will definitely be trying that. It does a fantastic job of cleansing my skin and when I hop out of the shower my skin is clean and bright and fresh. It’s £23 for 125ml but again, as with all of these products, a little goes a long way, in fact the first time I used it, I used far far too much, I had to use about a 6th of what I’d put on my hand for future uses.
So thats all the products Origins sent me, and they all have their merits, some more than others, but I’ve been having a good nosey around the Origins site and I see there are so many more products for winter skin, I’ve got my eye on every single Ginger thing on the site. If I’d have been more organised, some of them would have been on my Christmas list!
Anyway, lovely quality products, and the moisturisers are especially recommended if your skin is very dry.
I’m interested in exploring the brand further, so please if you have any Origins recommendations, let me know!

I love Connock London and that’s no lie. I’ve blogged about this new brand before and I raved about it. You can read a little about the company in my previous post but Amanda Connock is truly lovely and I think its true to say that when a product range is great and the owner is fab, it’s a pleasure to support them. I recently had a query directed to me from a reader that I couldn’t assist with that Amanda Connock replied to without hesitation. No chasing, no people to get through first, just a willingness to answer question and clear enthusiasm for the products she created.

Connock London Kukui Oil Comforting Body Wash

Anyway, that’s enough gushing for now! I was sent Kukui Oil Comforting Body Wash to try out recently and I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now.

Its a 300ml bottle which retails at a princely £22.50. I don’t know why but the bottle seems massive! It isn’t, but it feels it!

The wash is a moisture rich gel containing aloe vera, vitamin E and papaya extract. Its lovely stuff and best of all it smells like my beautiful Connock London candle. It’s moisturising and lathers well.

The packaging is classy and stylish but I do have one teeny gripe, I struggle with the pump in the shower! It’s probably just me but our shower is a cublicle and as such there isn’t a shelf for this to live on, in the bath you can rest it on the edge, push down with one hand and catch the gel with the other but in my shower I need to squat down and stand it on the floor,  in order to pump it, its just a bit unweildly, but thats me and pumps in general. Perhaps I’ll keep it just for baths, after all such a luxury product deserves the luxury of a bath instead of the functionality of a shower.

The whole range is now available at Shop Rush so please go and check it out, especially if you’re looking for Christmas pressies!

Naked Coco De Mer Body Wash

I’ve talked about the brand Naked before when I reviewed the Detox Shampoo (which incidentally I’ve just used and still like).

Naked is a brand with ethics I can really get on board with. Recycled bottles, sustainable ingredients, and nearly 100% natural bar a few emulsifiers and preservatives where needed. Also, this brand is reasonably priced. Really reasonably priced.

Coco de Mer is made with coconuts and passion flower and smells absolutely divine. It’s heavily scented, ultra lathery and creamy and pretty much perfect. It doesn’t actually smell coconutty, it smells… well I don’t know what it smells like actually, just really nice an actually rather expensive. And the best part? It’s £3.99. Seriously at that price you can’t knock it. Ethical, cheap, moisturising, foamy, and gloriously scented. I totally love this.

*Disclosure – PR Sample *

You may recall I recently posted details I’d received in a press release about Connock London. If not you can see the details Here. I don’t often just publish press release details without products to try, it has to be something that sounds really fantastic because generally I don’t like the idea of promoting products when I have no idea what they are like… however, the Connock London products sounded so luxurious and beautiful I couldn’t resist sharing.

Connock London Kukui Oil CollectionAs a result I ended up chatting to Amanda Connock on Twitter and she asked if she could send me some products to try because she’d love to hear my thoughts and as a thanks for my post. Well obviously I said Yes Please.  In my wildest dreams I didn’t expect what popped through my letterbox a couple of days later though.

I am in a priviledged position I know, I receive a lot of things to try but nothing, and I do mean nothing, has caused such a great level of excitement for me as this package. I’m truly not just saying that. You can ask my Mum who was here visiting for the day, there was hopping AND squealing on my part. Why? Well in the box is a bar of the soap, a pot of the Wonder Balm and the candle. The Candle I specifically mentioned in my post as being something I really wanted to get my hands on. All along with a lovely note from Amanda.

I must first of all mention the packaging. Extremely beautiful, unsual and high quality. All arrived wrapped in Connock London tissue paper. The soap came wrapped in cellophane, with a paper sleeve and a brown ribbon bow bearing the creator’s initials, AC. The Wonder Balm, box is beautiful too, but the candle packaging is simply stunning. All tied up again with the AC ribbon, a cream box with the Connock London floral motif which lifts to reveal a camel coloured base into which the candle sits.

So lets have a look at the products.
Connock London Kukui Oil Collection

The Wonder Balm

A beautifully packaged little pot of joyousness. I think balms are a common thing these days, but to clarify, this is a multi use product for dry bits. Cuticles, lips, knees, elbows, you name it. Of the three products I was sent this is the least scented, but it works like a charm. It’s pretty hard, you need to warm the product up with your fingers and it melts beautifully into wherever it is you need it to go. Now on my dressing table marked as as staple.

Connock London Kukui Oil Collection 
The Soap

A delightfully stinky soap. Seriously beautiful exotic scent. It’s creamy, rich and has a great lather. Truly gorgeous Soap. This is £25.55 for a box of four  100g soaps. Not cheap, but highly luxurious.

Connock London Kukui Oil Collection The Candle

Saving the best til last. That candle I lusted after. I’ve owned beautiful candles before, but never in my life have I owned an expensive high-end candle and I was interested to know what would set it apart from cheap scented candles. Lets firstly talk about the packaging and design. I’ve already talked about the outside packaging above, but when you undo the ribbon and lift the cream lid, you find the beautiful glass candle and in the bottom, alongside a box of Connock London matches, which is a pretty fantastic touch. The glass itself has an etching of the flower motif from the packaging but unfortunately I wasn’t able to pick this up in my photo’s. The smell is out of this world. Without even being lit, the scent fills my bedroom. Lit, and that scent is all the more powerful. It’s not overpowering though but it is very definitely exotic. Gardenia, jasmine, woody base, Hawaiian flowers, it’s all in there and it makes for the most gorgeous candle I have ever come across in my life. It’s absolutely not cheap at £36.80, but it doesn’t look, smell or behave as though it’s cheap either. To me, this is the ultimate luxury and hence my excitement when it arrived.

I cannot recommend this brand highly enough. Not only is the owner friendly, charming and generous, but the products are stunning luxury items. Christmas is coming. Add things to your Christmas list or buy for friends, you won’t be sorry. Thank you Amanda!

Available from Urban Retreat at Harrods and Fortnum & Mason along with www.beautyexpert.co.uk and www.beautique.com

Cowshed Knackered Cow Bath and ShowerI was sent a shower gel to try out recently. I had to chuckle to myself when I opened the envelope. The shower gel is from Cowshed and the variety is Knackered Cow. Seriously, that lovely PR person must know me well. Four years, virtually no sleep. I am definitely a knackered cow.

I must apologise now for the stock photo, I used this stuff almost as soon as it arrived entirely forgetting to take a picture first.

I love the bottle, it’s whimsical and pretty. The Cowshed philosophy is 100% organic oils, minimal preservatives, vegetarian, sustainable sources used and all made in the UK, it sounds great.  The Knackered Cow fragrance is a blend of relaxing lavender and eucalyptus to clarify the mind. First observation, I love the idea of those two fragrances blended but to me, this smells nothing like how I imagined, it smells far more ‘perfumey’. This isn’t a criticism though, it smells out of this world. I have a new shower gel love and this is it, it is gorgeous.

Second observation, I wish the smell was stronger. When I put it on the sponge it smells glorious, and as I wash my top half I can smell it too but as I work my way down I can smell it less and less and by the time I reach my toes you can forget it! This of course could just be me and I am used to the rather more pungent products from Lush, but they lack the delicacy that this product has and no Lush shower gel (and I do like lots of them) matches this in terms of scent, I really love it, I just wish it were more pungent! Still, thats a small grumble, this stuff is lovely, lathers well, does indeed relax and I will be looking to buy moer Cowshed products in future. I’m also thinking they will make nice Christmas pressies.

£16 for 300ml from http://www.cowshedonline.com/.

*Disclosure – PR Sample *