Just Charlie G

I know, I know, wipes are the work of the devil but before you click away, wait, these are worth reading about!

AC_ClarifyingWipes_HR

Okay so I received these for review purposes and I approached them with a weird expectation. Partly positive and excited because no Murad product has let me down yet, and partly nervous because no wipe has not made me break out yet!

I needn’t have worried.  These are specifically for blemish prone skin and I have been suffering an unfortunate break out thanks to a primer I tried once so I decided to give them a try.  I used two wipes one evening, one to remove all my make up and another to go over my face again removing any final traces. I then followed up with my usual moisturiser and went to bed. I was half expecting the spots to be much worse…but no, they weren’t. So I used them the following morning and evening.  As my spots began to fade I decided to give them a full week’s use for review purposes.

They are fantastic for my skin. The ingredients include With Hazel, Algae Extract, Grape Seed Extract and Vitamin C and they smell overwhelmingly of the witch hazel. Which for me, is no bad thing. I love that medicinal smell it takes me back to my childhood and it really makes me feel like it’s working on my skin.

Although I suffer with sensitivities to products that result in spots sometimes and hormonal outbreaks I also suffer with quite dry patches from time to time, and I was a bit worried these might dry my skin out but again, I needn’t have worried. They are absolutely fantastic.

Spots dry up fast and skin feels clean after use, as well as not feeling dryer (despite the fact that feel quite astringent on the skin, but of course my moisturiser will be doing it’s work too).

I can’t recommend these enough.

Okay so points I need to make. Although I used them for a week because I fell in love with them and wanted to see how they affected my skin with that much use, they shouldn’t be a substitute for a proper cleansing routine. You probably wouldn’t want to use these as your full time cleanser anyway since they are £9.95 for a pack of 30. It’s not cheap. My advice is to keep them for festivals, weekends away, drunken nights out, any time when convenience and speed are of the essence. Since they were so successful for me I’m toying with keeping a pack on hand to use once a month when I have my horrible break out.

I love these. Love love love.

They are available from www.murad.co.uk where as I say, they are £9.95 for a pack of 30.

*Disclosure – this product was sent to me free of charge for review purposes*

I’ve ad a massive skincare overhaul recently.  I’m still a huge fan of the Dr Murad regime which I loved and still do, and I took a gamble switching things out  to see if I can get things even better. I still haven’t managed to do much about the hormonal outbreaks.

I’ve long been double cleansing and I still am.

The first thing I’m using is the Clarins Water Purify One-Step Cleanser with Mint Essential Water (£19.50).

Excuse the photo, it didn’t turn out to too well!

Clarins Water Purify One-Step With Mint

I know this is a One Step cleanser meaning you should be able to clean your skin with this and it’d do the job without water. However I don’t trust that (in any brand) and so I use it as my first cleanse , essentially to remove my make up.  And it does a fantastic job, this cleanser is for oily or combination skin and I have to admit that after cleansing with this my skin does look perfectly clean! I do think though if you are wearing make up it takes a lot of product and so for this reason I keep it as my first cleanse to remove most of my make up before going onto my second cleanse. Special mention must go to the lovely fresh scent and refreshing feel on the skin!

So after Using the Water Purify One-Step Cleanser I go on to do a wash with the Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Cottonseed £18.

Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser

This cleanser is for Normal to Combination skins and it works like an absolute charm. It’s an odd hybrid of products, comes out like a cream and foams to a mousse like consistency but feels as light as air on your skin. You only need the smallest amount. A pea sized blob is more than enough for my face. It just leaves my skin feeling so clean and so soft and not at all dry. I’ve been using this for about a month now and so far no problems and certainly not a hint of dryness. It just feels so kind your skin.

Both products come highly recommended by me and with my horribly reactive skin you can take that as high praise indeed!

Both are available from Clarins counters nationwide or from www.clarins.co.uk.

*Disclosure – PR Samples*

28. 08. 2013

I’ve got a couple of Elemis lovelies to show you today. Both are lovely, but one’s an absolute must have!

Starting with the Balancing Lime Blossom Cleanser. Now I don’t use cleansing milks as a rule, or if I do, I use it as the first step in a double cleanse and so that’s how I’ve been using this. First thing to mention is the texture, which is a milk, but this comes in a lovely pump bottle. Next thing to mention is the beautiful fresh scent. It smells gorgeous. It’s for oily to combination skins, whereas I’m dry to combination as a rule but it suits me just fine. It actually leaves my skin very clean after use, but I always do a second cleanse anyway because that’s what I like to do! It leaves my skin clean and soft and not feeling at all dry but it does leave it feeling soothed. It’s really lovely. It’s £21 for 200ml.

Then onto the Herbal Lavender Repair Mask. This is a must have for break outs. It’s ingredients include rosemary, thyme and lavender essential oils, all of which are absolutely beautiful ingredients for your skin as they are antiseptic. You apply for 15 minutes and then rinse away. Voila redness lessened, oily bits removed and skins soothed. Not only that though, if you get a spot pop up, add a dab of this to it before you hit the sack. It’s a great spot treatment. It really helps to bring swelling and redness down. And that’s why this is a must have for me. Not just a beautiful face mask for stressed, congested skin, but also a spot treatment. I can’t actually imagine a skin this wouldn’t be beautiful on. It’s not cheap at £28 for 75 ml but worth every penny.

The full Elemis range is available online from www.timetospa.co.uk.

PS: Don’t forget to enter my Mac Lip Kit giveaway if you haven’t already!
PPS: If you’d like to advertise on Lady of the Lane, look here!

*Disclosure – PR Samples*

21. 08. 2013

I sold my Clarisonic ages ago. It made my skin feel clean but in time that was the only benefit I got from it. I saw no improvement in my skin otherwise at all.

Oh but there’s a new cleansing gadget in town and this one is INCREDIBLE. Meet the Foreo Luna.

Foreo Luna Review

The Foreo Luna is a little hand held device for cleaning your face. And more. It has bristles, sort of, but they are made of silicone, which means they are not at all abrasive and also totally washable. Unlike the bristles of the Clarisonic, this baby can’t harbour any germs, it’s just not made like that.

Foreo Luna Review

The unit is completely waterproof so you don’t have to worry about it getting wet, and it’s chargeable and the charge lasts for ages, over 450 uses, so charging it isn’t a hassle, it just goes and goes. Size wise, it’s just a bit larger than the palm of your hand and nice and easy to use and the shape of it makes getting into each nook and cranny of your face nice and easy.

Foreo Luna Review

Okay so I’ve not really told you what it does. Well it’s not just for cleaning your face, but it’s an anti-ageing cleansing device. Yup.

So here’s how you use it/how it works.

You wet your face, turn the unit on with the centre button and set the intensity you prefer with the plus or minus buttons, then apply your cleanser to your face and start. Essentially it vibrates. The combination of the vibrating and the silicone “bristles” work to cleanse your skin, removing dirt and dead skin and the vibration supposedly enhances the effectiveness of your products. I don’t know how that works! But what it does do is cleanse without stripping your skin at all. Bristles, even the soft ones, on other cleansing brushes can be too much for your skin, this doesn’t affect your skin in the same way at all. I must add at this point that it makes very light work of removing make up but I’m still a devotee of cleansing twice so I remove my make up first before going onto using my Foreo Luna with a different cleanser.

Once you’ve finished cleansing you press the centre button and the unit goes into a stand-by mode. At this point apply your serum or cream (or don’t, it really doesn’t matter) and flip the Luna over. I’ve neglected to take a photograph alas but where the bristles are on one side are soft ridges on the reverse. Press the centre button of the Luna again and then you go into the anti-ageing mode.  This is a lower frequency than the cleanse programme and again you can set the intensity with the plus and minus buttons. Then you press the ridges against your wrinkles for 12 seconds (the Luna does a tiny pause when it’s time to move to the next area). So we’re talking between the eyebrows, outer corner of eyes and the nasolabial folds. Essentially you’re getting a light massage. It relaxes the areas and helps to prevent lines and wrinkles. It also increases blood circulation which can only be a good thing. I don’t know if I’m looking younger but it feels fantastic. So pampering and relaxing.

And that is it, two minutes total. Two minutes, twice a day and glowing skin is a sure thing. I’m so impressed.

There is of course a down side, and the downside is the price. It’s a not so cheap £145….BUT it’s really not much more than a Clarisonic and of course you don’t have to buy a new brush every three months. That makes it a bargain. If you’re going to invest in a gadget to clean your face, get this one. I’ve tried both and it’s a no brainer.

The Foreo Luna is available from Foreo.com and Selfridges (you can chose from Ultra Sensitive, Sensitive/Normal andCombination) but you can also get a Foreo Mini which is £99 and available from Harvey Nichols. The mini is for cleansing only and does not have the anti-ageing aspect.

Very highly recommended by me and judging by other blog posts I’ve been reading, very highly recommended by everyone who has tried it!

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

My gosh this post is long overdue. I reviewed the amazing ApiNourish Rejuvenating Face Mask and the Repairing Skin Cream last year here and some time after I received a few more products to try out.

The ApiNourish Hydrating Facial Cleanser and the Apiclear Purifying Facial Toner.

Manuka Doctor Skincare Review

And the ApiNourish Restoring Night Cream, please ignore the smashed lid, it arrived with me that way!

Manuka Doctor Skincare Review

Manuka Doctor Skincare Review
As we all know by now, I suffered a great skincare disaster in the last year so I stopped chopping and changing my skincare items and stuck to a prescribed regime by Murad, but before that I gave these a fairly good run. Now because of the spots I’d been suffering its hard to review these but I must stress that I firmly believe the spots are all part of my hormonal issues and nothing to do with the products! So as it is, I’m just going to give you a quick run down of these products.

First, ApiNourish Hydrating Facial Cleanser (£19.99 for 100ml).  A beautiful face wash which really feels like it’s deep cleansing without stripping the skin at all. Simple to use, massage in and rinse away (with a cloth preferably). Lovely cleanser, not cheap but great quality.

Secondly, the ApiClear Purifying Facial Toner (£17.99 for 150ml).  So I’ve talked about the ApiNourish range on my other post, but the ApiClear Range is the range for troubled skin. Which means in theory this is ideal for my spot prone hormonal skin. Unfortunately I used  this for a while and whilst I had no issues, circumstances meant I stopped using it to switch to my Murad prescription. This though is a revitalising toner, I think it’s the bees venom that gives the tingling feeling (don’t use obviously if allergic to bee stings!) and although you might think the opposite, its the bee venom that assists in calming and controlling troubled skins.

Finally the ApiNourish Restoring Night Cream (£24.99 for 50ml). A beautiful rich night cream that replenishes and hydrates.

The range is really lovely, everything is quality and the sole reason I am not currently using these products any more is that I needed something specifically geared towards my hormonal acne issues that was also geared towards ageing skin. Still for anyone not having the same issues as me, I’d recommend this brand with no qualms at all.

You can purchase the whole range from www.manukadoctor.co.uk along with reading all about the benefits of Purified Bee Venom.

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

14. 03. 2013

I’ve alluded to my bad skin woes lately quite a few times, especially on Twitter, but as yet I’ve not really taken the time to write about what’s been going on in any detail here.

So brace yourself for grim photos of bad skin, news of skin saving products and a make up free photograph I’m proud of but should still probably come with a warning.

So to start at the beginning. Ever since I started my periods (apols for the TMI), I’ve suffered with hormonal outbreaks. Nothing too major. A few spots around my time of month and that’s about it. Fast forward many years to me post having children and my hormonal side effects started to get much worse. Not only the spots, but migraines, mood swings and all the other side effects we all know and love.  It started off with the spots becoming worse, not more frequent, but instead of the usual whiteheads and whatnot, a distinct increase in cystic spots. You know the ones, like having a pea under your skin that never come to a head and take weeks to go. So whilst the spots weren’t coming all month round, they were lasting all month round.  Then things took an even bigger turn for the worse when in the last three or four months the spots started to appear and last all month round, so I was never without small spots, cystic spots, pimples and so on. At any age this is distressing, at the ripe old age of 38 you really hope you’ll be past the spot stage and it’s incredibly difficult to find products that can deal with my type of skin…looking for a product that’s suitable for older skin, tackles spots and dry patches is nigh on impossible, despite the claims of manufacturers… trust me I know. I’ve tried lots. Then along came Dr Murad. I’d heard good things about the brand and they offered to help me out.

I had to send them photographs of my skin along with lots and lots of information. All of which I thought was great, as it meant they really wanted to understand what was going on with my skin rather than just sending out their products for spot prone skin, they wanted to put together a regime that would really suit ALL of my issues, along with advice for my lifestyle (eat more fruit and veg and drink more water!).

So they came up with a recommended regime for me, and offered to send me two products off the list.

Murad Skincare Review

So I chose the Age-Diffusing Serum and the Anti Ageing Moisturizer for blemish prone skin.  In addition I then purchased the Time Release Blemish Cleanser.

Murad Skincare Review

I’ve now been using the products for a month and a half and feel in a position to write about them.

Okay so the Time Release Blemish Cleanser (£29) is a really gentle cleanser which continually releases blemish treatment throughout the day whilst hydrating to help minimise the signs of ageing. It’s got a minty feel on the skin and lathers very very gently, I’m not even sure if you can call it a foam really. It lifts every last scrap of make up off my face although I do tend to need to use an eye make up remover as well (depending on my mascara). It doesn’t leave my face feeling tight or dry, just clean!

Then the Age Diffusing Serum (£64). This is a plant based serum with a gorgeous fruity scent and is designed to address menopausal challenges, such as dry, dull skin, excess facial hair, breakouts, wrinkles and loss of elasticity. I love this product. I’m not menopausal, but I do suffer with many of those symptoms above and I feel this lightweight serum works really well. It spreads easily over the skin and absorbs very well leaving no residue except for smooth soft skin.

Finally the Anti-Ageing Moisturiser SPF20 (£49). This is the dream product for my skin. Just what I was after. A moisturiser for older skin but that tackles blemishes. This minimises oil production but promotes collagen production. I find this, combined with the serum, does a more than adequate job of moisturising my skin. Other moisturisers I’ve tried in the past for blemish prone skin have not been moisturising enough for me. This is.  It leaves no residue on my skin, banishes dry patches and flaky bits left over from spots and as I say, leaves my skin feeling soft.

So do they work? Well you can probably tell from the title of the post, if not the unwitting bias in the post so far but my god, yes.

There’s no better way to explain just how well than to you show you which means you are going to have to look at some less than desirable photographs.  The first is of my chin, a week after starting my regime. It’s not pretty, but it’s better than it was a week before. The spots are drying up, and red and the big cystic one is drying and flattening out, but it’s a gauge of how bad things were before I started.

Brace yourself….

Murad Skincare Review

Then imagine this about twice as bad, which is as bad as it usually gets.

And now, make up free (except mascara) five weeks later.

Murad Skincare Review

Really there are no words for how pleased I am and I don’t feel this review needs any more words about the amazingness (!) of the products. The photographs speak for themselves. I haven’t been completely blemish free for months and months now. Many months. And now I’ve been mostly blemish free for weeks.

Regarding my time of the month, I still got spots. Remarkably there wasn’t one cystic spot amongst them, there were about three small spots, all of which cleared in double quick time. Very impressive.

Now I think this range is very expensive and it’s not one of those brands were a little goes a long way either. Not that you have to use a lot of product, I’d just say it was a normal amount, which means I think, looking at how much product I have left, I’ll be looking to replace the serum and moisturiser every two and a half months approximately and the cleanser will last a lot longer as you actually don’t need much of that. But it is worth every single penny. No doubt. And I’ve already put money aside to replenish my stock as I can’t just come up with that kind of money on short notice. But as I say, it’s worth it, and I’ll pay it. Your skin is so important and blemishes on the skin can affect your self esteem so badly, to have clear skin is worth saving up for!

I can’t recommend this brand highly enough.

There is a 20% Sale off on the Murad website now I’ve just discovered so head over now for some bargains and it looks like they’ve now introduced free shipping, which they didn’t have when I placed my order. Hooray!

If you’re not sure what products you need, there’s a questionnaire on the site to help you out and the gifts and kits are a more budget friendly way of getting started too.

*Disclosure – the Serum and Moisturiser were sent to me free of charge for review purposes*

Nourish Skincare
I was sent this product for review purposes but since the whole skin eruption business I’ve had to stop using anything outside of my new routine until I get things back on track (maybe not ever again if what I’m using now really works!). But I wanted to give a mention to this lovely brand really. I love the packaging which is clean and fresh looking.
The ethos of the brand is that Nourish use advanced ingredients to nurture your skin. And they offer a variety of products for a variety of needs that you can mix and match. All the products are anti-ageing and tailored to skin types and needs.
I’ve been having a really good look at the website and I’m seeing words like peptides, hyaluronic acid, and lots of other goodies we know to be great for our skin. There’s also a really large product range at what I think are really reasonable prices. The products are all cruelty free and vegan too.
The cleanser pictured above hasn’t had a fair enough go from me to review it but on the few occasions I used it, it certainly felt lovely and effective.  The Balance Detoxifying Cleanser (£9.95) is recommended for combination skin to cleanse and restore the natural barrier of all skin and is a blend of apple extract to refresh and light emollients. You can find full ingredients lists for all products on the website by the way which for those who like to know exactly what they are using, is a fabulous thing. You simply swipe it one with cotton wool and rinse away with cool water. I would recommend using this after removing make up.
I certainly plan to take a closer look at some of the body products while I’m giving my face a break! The Golden Glow Toning Souffle sounds to die for!
If the range sounds like it might be for you, you can purchase here.

Just wanted to do a quick post on these as they are really fantastic eye make up removers so well worth a post… only a quick post though as there’s only so much you can really say about them!

New Clarins Eye Make Up Removers

You may be forgiven for thinking you’ve seen both of these before but they are reformulated to increase effectiveness and with a pH Balance that is equivalent to your natural tears.

Instant Eye Make-Up Remover promises to instantly remove all traces of eye make up, including waterproof and long wear formulas, so for me this gets quite the hammering and I can confirm it makes light work of any make up I have on. Super quick, this is a bi-phase product with an oil layer and a water layer, the oil breaks down pigments and the water phase removes soluble product as well as impurities  related to pollution.

The Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover has also been rigorously tested by me. This is a 100% water based lotion that removes make gently as well as conditioning. Over the Christmas period I actually had lash extensions so this was a go to product for me. Worked like a charm to remove my make up but leaving my lashes in tact. Very impressive.

Both formulations are alcohol free as well as Opthalmologist and Dermatologist tested.

100ml of either will set you back £17 and trust me, a little goes a long way, these bottles will last a long time!

Available from www.Clarins.co.uk

*Disclosure – PR Samples*

TooFruit Douce Mousse Cleanser for Kids

Absolutely loving this cleanser for kids from French brand TooFruit. Or rather my six year old, Chloe, has been loving it, she’s loved it so much it’s all gone. As a child who a) is  very messy and b) suffers from eczema this product has been a godsend, cleansing her skin softly and gently and most importantly if you’re six, it smells delicious, coconut and pineapple! I must say I’m rather fancying the cleansing mist!

The range is small and perfectly formed for children’s skin, which is different of course from our own, in that it has very little or no oil. The range essentially reproduces the effect of sebum through the Filmo-Protect complex, which is 100% vegetable. It’s created by a dermatologist, it’s organic, and free from nasties, so you won’t find any alcohol, silicone, palm oil, sulfates, parabens etc and I’m keen to get my hands on more for Chloe and indeed even Lola.  I love love love the sound of La Creme Gourmande, a banana and figs moisturiser!

The range is not easy to find in the UK but I found it here and will be stocking up. It’s really scrummy stuff!

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.

http://www.savonnerielondon.com
*Disclosure – PR Samples*