Just Charlie G

ELEMENTAL HERBOLOGY FACIAL GLOWIt’s that time of year when my skin starts to look a bit dull and sad. Central heating and colder weather brings with it dull skin, dry patches and if that wasn’t enough, my skin has decided to be a bit congested around my jaw line again, so it’s been time to bring out the big guns. Namely the Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel.


Facial Glow Radiance Peel is a beautiful mousse like cream, with exfoliating beads (jojoba NOT plastic!) that you massage into your skin, leave for four minutes and then remove. Skin texture is improved and cell turnover is increased. Active ingredients include apple serum and orange peel to help shed dead skins, manuka honey to soothe, lots of antioxidant ingredients as well as natural oils to hydrate.


This smells so delicious, it really smells like it’s made with lots of fruit (and it is!). Although this is chock full of exfoliating jojoba beads, it’s not at all irritating and it leaves my skin feeling so incredibly soft.

All my dry patches disappear and while I don’t think my skin is ever going to be glowing, after using this product and a dose of Elemental Herbology’s Calendula & Rose Damask Facial Moisturiser, (note to self, need a new moisturiser, I’ve run out!) my skin is the best I believe it can ever be. It doesn’t get rid of those little congestion bumps after one use, but by using once a week with the rest of my lovely products, it very quickly gets rid of them. I love this so much I would like to use it more often but there’s a downside, and that’s the price.

It’s a miracle product but still a bit out of my budget at £40 for 50ml. Don’t get me wrong, it’s worth every single penny, its just a bit out of my budget. If I could I’d use this regularly for the rest of my life, but as it is, I’ll settle for a pot or two a year, in the winter. Another winning product from my favourite skincare brand. After years of blogging and trying loads of skincare brands, many of which I’ve loved, none have made my skin quite as happy as the Elemental Herbology range, definitely check them out if you have fussy skin like me!

Check out the whole range on the Elemental Herbology website.

*Product received free of charge for review purposes

Elemental HerbologyWhile I have no doubt that there are new brands cropping up all over the time, its not too often I get to try them out. Elemental Herbology are not actually a new brand, having been established in 2008, but they are new to me. The brand’s area of expertise is using therapeutic levels of plant compounds, herbal extracts, botanical oils, vitamins, minerals, essential oils to create natural skin and body care products that really work. The entire range is based upon the Five Element Theory from traditional Chinese medicine and each product relates to each element, wood, fire, earth, metal and water and Elemental Herbology believe that a balance of all the elements is needed depending on your skin type. With my skin being all over the shop, this concept is one that really appeals to me.

I’ve been trying out three products recently and I’ll start by telling you about the Facial Souffle Overnight Cream from the Moisture Replenish line.

Elemental HerbologyThe product having the word Souffle in its name is very definitely appealing to me! And this beautiful Facial Souffle doesn’t disappoint. Usually with products that promise a lot of hydration I have concerns that they will break me out, but so far so good with this overnight treat. Designed for mature or dry skin (I am both) this overnight cream really moisturises and suits my sensitive skin really well. I wake up with my skin soft and comfortable. It is not a cheap product at £47, but a little goes a long way and I have no doubt this will last quite some time. Do have a look at the reviews on the website, they are really brilliant.

Next up is the Facial Detox Purifying Facial Mask.

Elemental HerbologyThis is a product my chin and nose has been crying out for. My skin is cursed with blemishes, even at the grand age of 41, but what I really struggle with is that the spots are in combination with dry skin and sensitive skin. Often products designed for spots, are far too harsh or drying for me. This beautiful mask is made with Honey, Aloe and Calendula to soothe, Oat Flour and Allantoin to exfoliate gently and Clay to help eliminate the toxins. Its the combination of these, that mean this is helpful for my skin and it allows me to use it all over (instead of just the problem areas) without risking aggravating my dryness. It smells amazing (eucalyptus, cedarwood, lavender and rosemary) and is a pleasure to use. I have some congestion and I have found it helps to bring the bumps out. While it is suitable for my fussy face, if you have more tolerant skin you might find it a bit too gentle for you. For me this is a must have product, but at £38 for 75ml, you’ll want to be sure it suits your skin.

Finally I’ve been trying out Hand Nutrition Intensive Hand and Nail Repair Cream.

Elemental HerbologyI’m a bit of a horror when it comes to hand creams, I have them, I have them everywhere, on my desk, on my bedside table, in my handbag, but I always forget to use them. I don’t get terribly dry hands so I guess that has something to do with why I’m so bad, but I have forced myself to give this a good go and I’m pleased I have. Hand Nutrition is for dry and sun-damaged hands and is rich in Omegas 3, 6 and 9. It smells nice and seems to moisturise well. Since I’ve been crocheting up a storm I do tend to notice when I have dry patches as they snag on my yarn, and in addition, its also important that when I do use a hand cream it absorbs quickly so I can carry on with my work. This cream isn’t the fastest to absorb I’ve ever tried, but it doesn’t take ages either, and it doesn’t leave a residue if I rub it in properly. It stops any snaggy bits of dryness there and then. What more could you ask for? This one is £16.

I’ve been really impressed with the Elemental Herbology products I’ve tried, and keen to explore the range further and see if I can find a routine that would suit my skin for once and for all, my only hesitation with that is the prices are a little higher than I’d like, but for the right products, I’d pay whatever was necessary within reason!

Oh and final comment, I love the beautiful, simple packaging. Its very attractive.

Please do take a look at the Elemental Herbology to see the full range of products and for more information.

*All items received free of charge for review purposes

Happy Monday!

Today I’m blogging about a brand I’ve never tried before, Docteur Renaud, and in particular the Iris Discovery Kit.

I adore trying new skincare products but with my skin, trying new things rarely agrees with me. I’m 41 so, I guess you’d say I was ageing (in skincare terms), I have a terribly dry nose, and frequently get spots on my chin. In addition to this charming sounding skin, lots of products seem to break me out. As a result of this I blog far less about skincare now than I used to. I remember the heady days when I was chosen as one of 4Beauty’s top ten skincare blogs, sadly these days that just wouldn’t be possible!

That said, I do still try things out from time to time, I’m still perfecting my routine. I’m just more careful about what I try.

I hadn’t actually really heard about Docteur Renaud until Samantha from Coco Butter Blog mentioned it in her Bloggers Talk Beauty feature. I was then delighted to be given an opportunity to try the range out for myself. Namely the Iris Discovery Kit.

Docteur Renaud Iris The Docteur Renaud is a French brand devoted to the finest natural ingredients and harnessing the power of plants to create effective, natural skincare products and treatments.

The Iris Discover Kit is aimed at Anti-Aging results and contains Iris Lift Mask 20ml, Iris Firming Lift Cream 5ml and Iris Lift Radiance Serum 5ml, all housed within a beautiful box and who can resist products that come wrapped in tissue paper! The Kit retails at £9.

Docteur Renaud IrisAll of the products are lovely. The Iris Lift Mask  aims to stimulate collagen synthesis for a smoothing and firming effect.  I found that after use my skin did feel incredibly smooth to touch but also a tiny bit plumper and therefore fine lines looked slightly diminished, I can’t say anyone would notice, but it was enough for me to notice (in my x5 magnifiying mirror!) and I would definitely use this again (and indeed I have some left so will keep going until its gone). I can only imagine that results would be greater combined with the rest of the range and with regular use.

The Iris Lift Radiance Serum is just what I have been looking for as my regime is lacking a serum at the moment as so many I try break me out. Not so with this one. It’s a highly concentrated fluid that promised to lift the features on application. As with all claims such as these, don’t go looking for miracles, they don’t exist, but absolutely everything (particularly under my eyes), looked a bit less saggy!

Finally the Iris Firming Lift Cream, a really beautiful moisturiser. Often with anti-ageing products, they are too heavy and rich for my skin, but this is lovely and moisturising while not being too heavy. It sinks into my skin nicely and leaves it feeling moisturised. A very nice moisturiser indeed.

This is a fantastic way to try out products and I really enjoyed using them all, each is lightly, but beautifully, scented and they are a pleasure to use.

I can’t thoroughly review in terms of the effects on my skin because there isn’t enough product to thoroughly test but I can say I would definitely be happy to recommend the products as my two main skin concerns (dryness and acne) were not aggravated, while the dryness was helped. For someone with skin as tricksy as mine, that’s really good going.

The Docteur Renaud Iris Discovery Kit is exclusively available from Skin Evolution who are the only UK stockists of the brand, they stock the whole line as well as the Carrot Discovery Kit which is designed for a glowing complexion.

*Products received free of charge for review purposes.


When I was in Lush recently picking up the Salted Coconut I also grabbed a pot of Love Lettuce Fresh Mask in an effort to fix my unhappy skin.

Lush Love lettuce lush Love lettuceMy skin, as always, is on the dry side but at the time I purchased this, it was spotty thanks to my hormones.

Its been years since I’ve used a face mask of any description, never mind a Lush one, but I always used to like Lush Fresh Face Masks. They are so fresh you have to keep them in the fridge and they last about four weeks (providing you have stored them in the fridge).

Love Lettuce seemed perfect for my skin. It’s brightening thanks to agar seaweed gel, soothing and moisturising thanks to the honey and almond oil, it also exfoliates with almond shells. It’s highly scented with French lavender, which I love, and its a bonus that Lavender is so good for the skin and your wellbeing!

To use you simply just smooth over the skin and rinse off after 10-15 minutes. I’ve found it good to just moisten it then gently massage so you can exfoliate with the almond shells.

Its an absolute pleasure to use and Chloe insisted I share the experience.

lush love lettuceObviously with her delicate young skin we had to take care with the removal, but she enjoyed the experience too.

After removal my skin felt so soft and smooth, and it wasn’t dry and tight feeling either which was great. I’ve used it weekly and my skin has improved, however I felt that my skin would have improved by then anyway as the breakout was hormonal. I definitely think it brightens and smoothes, and there’s no doubt that lavender is great for redness and blemishes, it also didn’t aggravate my skin at all. I would definitely use this again, however it’ll probably take me a while to get round to it as there are others I’ll probably try out first, just because!

75g is £6.50 from Lush.co.uk

Aromatherapy Associates Anti Ageing Overnight Repair MaskToday I’m doing a post about a beautiful product, the Aromatherapy Associates Anti-Ageing Overnight Repair Mask*.

I’m afraid this is something of a luxury product at £59 for 50ml, but it’s incredibly effective and an ideal product for skin requiring some tlc. It’s easy to use, you simply apply to the skin in the same way as any face mask and leave, overnight for best results but if you are strapped for time at least two hours will do. Ingredients include rose, frankincense as well as other potent botanical extracts. Strawberry seed extract feeds your skin rich fatty acids, while rice germ and millet seed oils nourish and protect against environmental damage.

As you might expect the smell is beautiful, everything Aromatherapy Associates make smells beautiful, but the effects on the skin are clear. I find when I wake up in the morning, my skin feels refreshed, healthy and glowy. Makes a very pleasant change to waking up dull, grey and tired looking. Although suitable for all skin types, I think this really excels with dry skins, its made a big difference to my dry patches.

I can highly recommend this product however, I am not thrilled about the price. I have loved every single Aromatherapy Associates product I have ever tried, and I have tried many, but the price point is high. I don’t doubt the quality at all, it is exceptional, but £59 for this small 50ml tube is far too excessive for me, this is a product I would like to use regularly, as the benefits for me are great, but I really couldn’t afford to. I think you could take £20 off the price and it’d still be an expensive product.

Oh but it is beautiful, it truly is, and it really has a great effect on my skin, so yes, I do recommend it, but I would recommend searching around, various retailers stock this product, at slightly cheaper prices.

You can purchase directly from Aromatherapy Associates for £59

But Beauty Bay are currently selling it for £42.40,  which is a saving not to be sniffed at.

*Product received free of charge for review purposes.


Today I’ve got a beautiful new product to tell you about. As regular readers will know, my skin is a constant battleground, with blocked pores being standard along with a monthly hormonal break out that lasts most of the month. I’m using a pretty successful routine at the moment and am very careful which skincare samples I accept these days, looking only for those that won’t worsen the spots and help clear the blocked pores.

So I was pretty keen to try out the latest skin care product from Aromatherapy Associates. The Polishing Essential Enzyme Peel.

Aromatherapy Associates Polishing Essential Enzyme Peel

So what we have is a product that gently exfoliates without any harsh abrasives to aggravate. It contains Pineapple, Passion Flower and Grape fruit acids to break down dead skin cells along with Carrot Oil which is rich in Vitamin E and anti-oxidants.

All you need to do is apply a later to your face, leave on for 5-10 minutes before removing with a warm, damp cloth. Follow up with toner, treatments and moisturiser. Depending on the state of your skin you can use this once or twice a week.

It tingles a little when you use it, just to warn you, but it’s not painful or uncomfortable and unlike some peels it won’t leave you with a red face. It smells lovely and is a pleasure to use, personally I really enjoy the tingle.

The end results are cumulative, each time I use it I feel my skin looks a bit better and feels a bit softer. That’s absolutely not to suggest though, that after one use you won’t see any results, you will. Or at least I did. My skin was softly glowing and felt so soft.  I feel that although the difference isn’t massively obvious with each use, I can see things improving, those little bumps on my skin are getting fewer and my skin really does feel so much softer.

This isn’t a cheap product at £39 for 50ml but it’s well worth the money. I am seeing similar results to those that I experienced with the Perricone Blue Plasma which is twice the price. So really that makes this product a bargain! 😉

You can pick up your product here and if you’re really in the mood for shopping then Aromatherapy Associates have now released all their Christmas Gifts which are always lovely, and I’d have to recommend treating yourself to the Festive Bath & Shower Collection!

*Disclosure – Sample provided free of charge for review purposes*

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*

Clarins Hydraquench Cream Mask

Clarins Hydraquench Cream Mask is a lovely treat for dry Summer skin. The mask is a non-drying creamy texture. You apply it to your face and neck and leave it for five to ten minutes and then remove any excess with a cotton wool pad soaked in your favourite toner. In places it’ll look like there’s no product there, as it seems to absorb into the skin.

Ingredients include Hyaluronic Acide to restore the skin’s water reserves, Katafray extract to reinforce the barrier effect of the outer layer of the skin and Rowan Tree Buds boost the skin’s radiance.

It feel like giving your skin a drink of water, your skin is left feeling soft, moisturised and smooth. A really quick and easy way to get moisture into your skin. It really is very effective.

I should add that I was nervous to use this, as you all know by now my skin’s history and I am still sticking rigidly to my routine which keeps my skin mostly clear, but I’ve had no adverse reaction to this whatsoever.

75ml will cost you £33 and you can purchase either from your local Clarins counter, or online here.

*Disclosure – PR Samples*

Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask

My skin is in dire need of a moisture boost right now so in theory this brand new mask should be just what the doctor ordered, but while my skin is so unhappy with it’s acne, I can’t bring myself to try this out just now so this isn’t a review alas. Although as I’m typing I’m thinking to myself, my nose is very dry and I never get spots on my nose, maybe I can just use it on my nose!

Anyway, with the onset of winter and the increase in central heating everywhere, many of us can be a bit prone to dryness and the Moisture Surge Overnight Mask is just what you need and I’ve got to say really appeals to the lazy girl in me.

You simply put this on before bed, get slumbering and in the morning…nothing! No you don’t need to wash it off because it will have been absorbed throughout the night to leave you moisturised, smooth and supple! But of course, you will wash your face any way right?!

I personally think this sounds wonderful and I’m just disappointed that I can’t really try it out at the moment…I’m saving it though for if and when my skin ever recovers!

Available now, a 100ml tube will set you back £28.

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

This post has been a long time coming, for which I apologise as this is one of those brands I should be shouting about all over the place. I’m talking about Manuka Doctor, the skincare range containing Purified Bee Venom. Bee Venom is much loved by celebs for a youthful glow, and you can count Angelina Jolie, Caroline Flack, Victoria Beckham and Kate Middleton as fans.

Dr Sunil Chopra is the Clinical Director of the London Dermatology Clinic and he says “there is convincing laboratory data to support Bee Venom’s effectiveness in anti-ageing, particularly in the prevention of the photo ageing and the repair of damaged skin cells. When choosing a Bee Venom skincare product, I would recommend looking for a brand which uses Purified Bee Venom, as this process removes any unwanted particles such as dust and pollen, helping to ensure a more efficacious product.”

So step forward Manuka Doctor, a brand which does indeed contain Purified Bee venom.

Manuka Doctor ApiNourish Review

The Repairing Skin Cream is to die for. It’s £24.99 and worth every single penny. A clinical trial showed that wrinkles visibly improved in four weeks, skin immediately feels more radiant, increased skin tone in four weeks, skin feels measurably smoother and skin appears instantly more nourished and I’d have to agree with all of these. Using in combination with my Brenda Anvari skincare my skin is very happy indeed. There are a few things that I especially want to point about this cream, one, it’s extremely light on the skin, important for my skin which gets so easily congested, buy my skin is so glowing with this, it’s amazing. I find it absorbs very quickly and when it does it leaves my skin feeling velvety, not greasy or even silky, just like velvet, it’s really lovely and suits my skin perfectly. Clearly my skin loves Bee Venom and  touch of Manuka Honey. I can’t rave about this highly enough, this is a fabulous product.

The other item I’ve been trying a loving is the ApiNourish Rejuvenating Face Mask which is a slightly scary £49.99 for 50ml. Again, you’ve probably read nothing but good reviews of this and I’m going to be no different.  When Ruth Crilly of A Model Recommends says something is good, you better listen, she’s not wrong. This is a mask that actually has visible results immediately after using. The Bee Venom works  in a way that basically lightly stings your skin all over (not that you can feel this I must add) to stimulate collagen growth, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and renew damaged skin cells. It’s not just the bee venom though, there’s Manuka Honey, Avocado Oil, Shea Butter and Vitamin to nourish.  Easy to use, you just apply, leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes, then you flake it off by rubbing and rinse any remaining product away. To leave you looking glowing.

Now I have to say a couple of things, firstly, this range does really work. Secondly, I am told the bee venom is harvested in a cruelty free way, but I have very little understanding of this issue. I am not sure of the technicalities but think this definitely something each person has to research and decide for themselves. Thirdly, it goes without saying really, but if you are allergic to bee stings, this probably isn’t the range for you!

Available from Holland & Barratt.

*Disclosure – PR Samples*