Just Charlie G
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*

I recently posted about a couple of beautiful Brenda Anvari skin care products I was using, the Skin Tonic and the Skin Serum. Those two items have made a massive difference to my skin, seriously, dehydrated skin? What dehydrated skin? So I’ve now added a few more products to my weekly and daily skin routines.

Brenda Anvari Skincare

I recently went along to Visage House for a Deep Pore Cleansing Facial which was superb. I have raved before about the experience at Visage House and this occasion was no different, with the exception that on this occasion I was treated by Brenda Anvari herself. Not only was my skin treated to a very excellent and effective facial but I was able to pick Brenda’s brains to get the benefit of her many years of expertise in the skincare industry.

I have learned that since using the Skin Tonic and Skin Serum twice daily since my last visit I have managed to stop my skin being dehydrated which is in itself a revelation. I’ve learned a lot about the little bumps on my face (which is why I was there). A huge amount of those little bumps on my face have now been removed, a few remain, particularly on my chin, which Brenda was unable to work so thoroughly on as I was having a break out at the time of my appointment and squeezing and digging around in infected spots is a strict no no.

At Visage House there are four Face Treatments ranging from 45 mins to 1hr 45 mins, each is tailored to the individual. Prices range from £50 to £89 and if you are in the local area (Exeter) I highly recommend.

After my Face Treatment I was sent off with three new products to add into my daily and weekly regime and much like the Skin Tonic and Skin Serum, these are absolutely fabulous and my skin is really starting to show  the difference now I believe.

The Cleansing Milk (£15.95 for 250ml) is beautiful, with Lavender, Grapefruit and Bergamot. It smells out of this world. In the evenings I use this after first using an oil cleanser, and in the mornings I am using this alone. You just massage it in really well before either rinsing off or removing with a tissue or cotton wool. I prefer to  wash away with a muslin as I feel that’s most effective, but this is beautifully gentle, but still super effective. I then follow up with the Skin Tonic and the Skin Serum. Morning and night.

Then in addition I have the completely amazing Facial Exfoliating Cleanser (£15.95 for 250ml).

Brenda Anvari Skincare

I love this. I love everything about it. I love the herbal scent (rosemary). I love the light creamy texture and I love the amount of scrub it gives… it’s perfection. It leaves my skin glowing. If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s a scrub that’s so gentle you can’t feel the scrub, but neither is this harsh, it feels like it’s working and it leaves my skin glowing. I use this three times a week.

Finally, I’m now using the Intensive Face Mask (£15.95 for 50ml)

Brenda Anvari Skincare

For something called Intensive, this is the lightest creamiest  mask ever. It’s not one of those that dries on your face like a clay mask, nor is it a peel off mask, this is one of those that dries almost invisible and there are several ways of using it. You can use it as your traditional face mask, apply it and leave it on for 15-30 minutes then remove. Or if your skin is in particular need of saving, you can apply and leave on overnight. Then finally Brenda told me that if you do ever squeeze a spot (tut tut), then apply some of this to it immediately after and leave. The mask replenishes and restore the skin with it’s ingredients, Sea Buckthorne Oil That has a rich source of vitamin A and Omega 7 and Bergamot Oil for anti-aging and conditioning. It’s truly gorgeous and leaves my skin so smooth and radiant.

My skin is still not perfect, I’m still battling with hormonal spots that never seem to go, but that aside, my skin has never been better. I’m also using a wonderful moisturiser and eye cream which I’ll be blogging about very soon, but I credit Visage House and Brenda Anvari for the massive change in my skin. The treatment has cleared out the vast majority of blocked pores (some of which I’m told had been blocked for a long long time) and the products I’m using are helping to stop the pores from getting blocked again. Things are definitely on the up. Each blocked pore is a spot waiting to happen, so to have so many removed really helps me get back to a blank canvas as it were. Now my skin is no longer dehydrated, but is combination, but because it’s sensitive that means it could change at any time… so I’m doing my best to look after it.

I cannot recommend Brenda’s skincare products highly enough, they are exceptionally well priced considering the expertise and wonderful ingredients that go into them, and they are really effective, without any scientific babble to blind you. Gentle, cruelty free, simple and effective, perfect.

The next step for me on the road to skin recovery is to get the rest of the blocked pores unblocked and then I’m keen to get a facial oil into my routine somewhere. I’m also thinking I might go for a bit of Microdermabrasion at some point but will be taking advice from Brenda as to when she thinks that will be appropriate.

If you’re in Devon and you need your skin sorting, get yourself to Visage House for the most luxurious, effective Skin Treatments around. If you’re not in Devon but you like the sound of any of the products then you can buy the whole range online along with the beautiful home fragrances and body products.

Postage and Packaging is free if you spend over £50 and that is easily done, especially with Christmas looming, or  it’s £6.95 per order.

*Disclosure – Both the products and the treatment were provided to me free of charge*

Truly a product worthy of the hype.

Glamglow Tingling and Exfoliating Mud Mask

For anyone who doesn’t know about Glamglow, what we have is a mud mask. Designed to be a “facial in a jar” for backstage use in Hollywood, this promises immediate results, The idea is that you use this either a couple of times a week or whenever you need radiant skin fast!

The mask is a mud base with volanic rock and ash, along with tea leaf, green tea seed oil, and a wealth of other fabulous ideas. You apply a thin layer to clean skin, leave on for 10 mins, during which time you can expect a tingling sensation, then you add water and remove with circular motions to exfoliate. It’s a green-y coloured mud, with leaves in it and after use you can expect to see a “3-day glow”, smooth soft skin, exfoliated skin, pores minimized, and it helps to protect against free radical damage.

I was sent the Little Sexy pot which is supposed to contain 3 uses, (it’s 15ml and it’s recommended you use 5ml each time), but actually, I think I can get four or five uses. I’ve used it 3 times and there’s still plenty in the pot.

Glamglow Tingling and Exfoliating Mud Mask

Here I am sporting the mask in action. I think you’ll agree I’m looking fabulous.

Glamglow Tingling and Exfoliating Mud Mask

So anyway, I was a little dubious about using this, it was the tingling that was worrying me, with sensitive skin I was worried…not worried enough not to try it and boy am I glad I did.

The tingling was quite bearable, it was just a tingling and not a burning sensation as I feared and when I washed it off it felt incredible.

My skin looked radiant and smooth and fabulous. I used it last thing at night and my skin looked even better in the morning. It’s fabulous.

This could be the only face mask I remember to use on a regular basis. Only problem is it’s not very cheap, making it more suitable to special occasion use (for my budget). it is worth it if you can afford it though I have to say. My sensitive skin loves it.

The 15ml pot I have is £22.50, and the 50ml pot is £49.99. If you aren’t sure you want to invest that kind of money in a face mask you buy a 7ml trial tube for £4.99.

In addition between October and December you can purchase a pink pot of GlamGlow with 25% of all profits being donated to the Pink Ribbon Foundation.

Glamglow Tingling and Exfoliating Mud Mask

I’ll definitely buy this once my small pot runs out. This stuff is amazing.  You can purchase directly from the GlamGlow website.

It’s extremely rare for me to do an all out negative review on my blog. Normally if I don’t get on too well with a product I will be at pains to stress who I feel it might suit and explain why it didn’t suit me but might suit you. This time I can’t think of a single positive. No wait, I can actually think of two, but lets start at the beginning.

I was contacted by Montagne Jeunesse to see if I’d like to review their Skin Hero products. Although it’s lower budget than I’d usually buy for a face mask, I’ve seen the lovely bright packaging around and read good reviews, plus I’ve had a slightly stressful time lately and imagined myself relaxing on the sofa with the face masks and so I accepted the offer to receive them in return for a review. So here we are.

I received the following and thought it was a jolly nice parcel to receive. Something really treaty for me and I was looking forward to giving them a whirl.

Montagne Jeunesse

A cheerful looking collection of products I think you’ll agree.

At the time I received these I was suffering from a small break out, a monthly occurrence unfortunately, so the first one I decided to try was the Break-Out Mask.

Montagne Jeunesse

It sounded perfect. A mud mask fusion of calming Tea Tree and soothing Canadian Willowherb. Followed by a “super moisturiser of tantalising Tea Tree and calming Canadian Willowherb”.

So I slapped it on all over my face (except eyes and mouth obv.) liberally. It felt lovely I must say, a bit mentholly, so cool, smooth and creamy to apply and then as I left it on for the next twenty minutes and as you would expect it dried out giving you that face lift feeling. Then I washed it off and admired my lovely smooth soft clean skin. Then I went to bed.

When I woke up in the morning my face was itchy but it took me a while to drag my sleepy bum out of bed….by which time I realised I was not only very itchy, but my skin was feeling really bumpy and sore too….then I looked in the mirror…. excuse the crappy photographs, I used my phone to take them immediately.

Montagne Jeunesse
Montagne Jeunesse

All over my face. Red. Bumpy. Sore. Itchy and Dry. So, I waited to see if it’d settle, it didn’t then I hit Twitter up for some advice and the very helpful and expert Caroline Hirons came to my rescue  as did the lovely London Make Up Girl. Between them they explained what had happened (Acid Mantle destroyed) and how I could relieve the irritation (antihistamine to relieve the itching and Estee Lauder Advance Night Repair to create a barrier). And do you know what, I’m so grateful to them. The anti histamine very quickly reduced the itching, and the Advance Night Repair soothed quite substantially… that’s not to say I was fixed though. Oh no, this first day was just the start of it. Those things did help to relieve the discomfort a little though.

So after panicking and getting advice from those fab experts, I calmed down and penned an email to my contact at Montagne Jeunesse. I wasn’t snotty, I wasn’t rude, I explained what had happened, explained that I was nervous to try the rest of the products I was sent, I explained how sore I was and what did they think? I think I expected them to consult their “experts” for me or something and offer me some advice on how to treat the damage, explain what might have caused it and whether they thought  I would be okay to try the other products.  And call me unreasonable but I also expected a fairly quick response. All of those things might have helped me to write a more balanced review… you know to include how quick they were to offer advice on what I could try to help and that perhaps they thought it was an ingredient in this one mask and that the others should be fine for me etc.

If someone emailed me saying the acrylic nails I’d done for them had destroyed their hands I’d be emailing pretty sharp to a) apologise b) see what I could do to help fix it and c) do some damage limitation…

But they never replied.

So here it is. A review with no positive input from the company at all.

So after the initial irritation died down, what happened? Well the itching remained for a week, although admittedly, nothing like as bad as the first three days. Then my skin started to get dryer and dryer and dryer. Then it started flaking. There’s no foundation that I own (and I’ve got about 10) that could cover this…and obviously I would want to keep my skin free of cosmetics and just keep it clean and moisturised, but I didn’t feel I could do that because of the final unpleasant side effect. I now have the mother of all break outs. I’m talking more spots than I’ve had in a long time. Massive sore, hard spots. No, no, I can’t go out like that, I just can’t do it. I appreciate that’s my vanity and no one’s problem, all I can say is I’ve put my foundation and concealer on it the morning and as soon as I knew I wouldn’t be leaving the house have cleaned with oils or balms before slathering on my most effective moisture giving products. A week on… the spots remain but the dryness has nearly gone.

So yeah, the Break Out Mask is appropriately named. I sure broke out. And flaked. And itched. And swelled. And got bumpy.

With no input whatsoever from the company I’ve felt totally unable to put a positive slant on this review at all as I normally would, so I’m sorry about that. I won’t be trying the rest of the products they sent me. I won’t be giving them to anyone else to try. I won’t ever purchase one of their products and I will never recommend anyone does.

Just as a final note, I am writing this post a week after using the mask, at the time this post goes live it will have been nearly a fortnight…if by any chance I’ve had a reply from the company in the meantime I’ll be editing this… so if you are reading a rubbish review you’ll know that I gave them a reasonable amount of time before going ahead with this post…

*In case it wasn’t clear – PR SAMPLE*

Aromatherapy Associates Overnight Repair Mask

Normally, subtleties are lost on me when it comes to visual things. I can pick up subtleties in conversations and body language just fine but when it comes to fine details, noticing changes is not my strong point. For example, my computer is running slow, my husband puts some new part in it and proudly announces my machine is now 2x faster, do I love it? In truth? I can never tell…and this has been a problem for me in the past when reviewing some skincare products…yeah there might have been a change after using the product but I can’t tell, which is why I have to ask my husband to examine my skin before I start using a product and when I’ve finished and use his views to help me write my review! Unless there’s a drastic change I’m virtually unable to spot it. Alpha-H Liquid Gold is a good example of that, I saw no signs of plump gorgeous skin the mornings after use. It doesn’t necessarily mean there wasn’t any improvement though…

I’m waffling. But there is a point to the waffling. When I agreed to review the Overnight Repair Mask, I wasn’t expecting to see much, if any, change to my skin.  The mask is £46 for 50ml and you can use it in two ways, you can either pop it on your skin for a couple of hours, or you can leave it on overnight. The first time I used it I just kept it on for a couple of hours, but since then I’ve used it overnight a couple of times a week.

I’m just going to say woah! This is brilliant. When I get up in the mornings and wash it off my skin is plump, glowy and just looks very obviously improved.  And the point of all the previous waffling is that if I can spot the difference then it must be quite a marked result. It’s everything I thought the Liquid Gold was going to do for my skin. Lines are less obvious, my skin looks plump and noticeably smoother. The results last probably a couple of days on me before I start itching to apply again but the recommendation is that you use it only once or twice a week and so I stick to that. It’s a beautiful product and you use very little. I apply a fairly thin layer and while I read in bed it dries (although not hard or mask like really – it’s quite comfortable) and then you wash off in the morning.

Fantastic and although I do find the price galling it’s one of those things I’m going to end up selling my perfume on Ebay to buy more of when my tube runs out.  Fantastic, a product that really delivers. Love it.

That said, I’ve found a night moisturiser that helps me achieve a similar effect on a daily basis so expect a review of that soon. Using the two together, my skin is looking pretty glowy and happy (although still congested which is why I’m now starting yet another regime!).

The Overnight Repair Mask is available from www.aromatherapyassociates.com and coming in October is the first flagship store and treatment rooms in Knightsbridge – I’m only sorry I’m so far away.

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

Naked Truth Skincare by Darren McKeown ReviewI’m always interested in new skincare. I’ve yet to be torn away from the Estee Lauder eye creams, serums and moisturisers but I’m anyones so far as face masks and cleanser go. I like to try new things. And so as the buzz has built about Dr Darren McKeown’s new range has started to grow so has my interest Dr McKeown is a real doctor, a skincare and cosmetic specialist and has produced a new range of five products all scientifically proven to work and make a visible difference to the skin. No promises of miracles, no fancy packaging (although it is beautiful), no exaggerated claims of miracles just products that do as they say on the tin as it were.
The range includes an Age resistant Cleanser, Face Renewal Mask, Age Resistant Moisturiser, Intensive Care for Tired Eyes and Facial Rehydration Fluid. It’s not a cheap range, but it’s not astromonical either and if it works, well then skincare, along with foundation, is something I believe that within reason money isn’t a consideration (provided you can afford it!).
Naked Truth Skincare by Darren McKeown Review
The Naked Truth Age Resistant Cleanser (£17.99/150ml) is an anti ageing foaming cleaner to remove dirt and make up as well as exfoliating the skin thanks to alpha hydroxy acides. Daily use can help  improve skin texture and gradually reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I haven’t noticed any reduction in my fine lines at all but the cleanser is a pleasure to use. I find you don’t need much but unless you use plenty it can be hard to get a lather going. Skin left super clean and soft and literally all traces of make up gone. Very nice. Nice clean smell too.
Naked Truth Skincare by Darren McKeown Review
The other product I tried was the Naked Truth Face Renewal Mask (£21/50ml). A mask for weekly use to exfoliate, boost radiance and soothe. Containing finely crush olive stones for exfoliation and an infusion of minerals for  radiance and waterlilly for soothing. You leave this stuff on for 10-15 minutes and wash it off revealing… gorgeously soft skin. That lasts. The ground olive stones don’t feel at all abrasive on your skin and the mask itself is creamy and light. It’s not the sort of mask that dries on your skin, it stays creamy and as you rinse it off it feels gorgeous.
Highly recommend this mask and a look around at other blogs, such as A Model Recommends, British Beauty Blogger and Skin Deep confirms that others agree with me. This mask is beautiful.
If you’re looking for something special that works and at a reasonable price you can’t do wrong by trying this range out, and I’ll be watching this brand with interest to see if the range expands at all. Gorgeous Stuff. Also worthy of a mention is the gorgeous minimal packaging, worthy of a spot on a bathroom shelf. The glass jar of the mask is especially lovely.
Out now from http://www.superdrug.com/ Check it out!

*Disclosure – these products are PR samples

Rodial Glamtox Peel

Rodial and I haven’t been the best of friends really. I’ve not got on brilliantly with the products I’ve tried, and then I have some issues with the morality of the naming of the Crash Diet range… that aside, I was chatting to @CarolineBmakeup on Twitter a few weeks ago and she mentioned  Rodial’s Glamtox Peel mask as being something of a miracle worker. I said it sounded great and a couple of days later I received a tube through the door. If only all things in life were like this eh? I’d like a new house, housekeeper, £1,000,000 and one of those no!no! hair removal thingys please!

Anyway, I digress, the lovely Caroline had arranged for it to be sent over as she was keen to hear my thoughts. Ever the dutiful beauty blogger I was keen to get going.

The Glamtox Peel is a clay mask that claims to reverse the signs of aging in just 10 minutes by firming and lifting, reducing the appearance of lines, reducing stress in the skin and relaxing muscles. Then there’s the fruit acids to refine the complexion and brighten. Apparently!

Well, first thing, I always struggle with this, is how much of the stuff to apply! Clearly in the following picture not enough. You apply a good layer to dry skin. Once dry you rub your face with your fingertips and it all starts rubbing off (messily) and you finish up by rinsing thoroughly with warm water.

It applies nicely, and is creamy with a slightly fruity scent. After a few minutes your face starts to tingle. It’s not unpleasant, but it is very definitely tingly, and I often think with tingly things that you can feel them working. I have absolutely no clue at all if thats true or not though! For your viewing pleasure here I am modelling Rodial Glamtox Peel and my daughter’s Hello Kitty Hairband. At this point in the proceedings it is bone dry and I’m about to start rubbing it off.

Rodial Glamtox Peel
.Well, what can I say! As soon as I washed the remaining residue off my face I noticed a difference. My skin was soooo soft for a start. I mean really soft. My skin doesn’t do soft as a rule, but after this it does. I’d say that fine lines were reduced too. I wouldn’t call it a ten minute face lift myself, but there’s no denying that small lines had disappeared and my skin looked tighter (in a good way and not in a dry way I must add).
I don’t know when I’m actually going to learn that taking pictures from this angle makes my nose look enormous! Anyway, here’s my make up free face immediately afterwards. I don’t suppose its an awful lot of use without a before shot? You’ll have to take my word for it, it’s pretty impressive stuff.
Rodial Glamtox Peel
The results seem to last a couple of days on me before fading away but you can use this once a week, so save it for a night out, or a special event or similar. For me, I don’t have a lot of special events so I just do it every Thursday when I remember.
There is of course a downside. And that’s the price. It’s £72. That’s priced it right out of my budget range unforunately. However, I do think it’s worth it, I love it and if I could afford to rebuy regularly I would. There are about 20 applications per tube, about £3.60 a go then… yeah, I’d say it was worth it. Perhaps one day when I stop being a stay at home mum and get a job that pays I’ll be able to treat myself to this baby. If you have this kind of money available for skin care I’d say this was a very worthy investment indeed and I’m very grateful to Caroline Barnes for giving me the opportunity to try it out!

Alpha-H is a brand highly lauded by those in the know but I think fairly unknown by your average Joe. As part of the blogging community I found myself getting swept along with the hype I heard about this brand, in particular, the much loved Liquid Gold.

A month or two ago I was sent, unexpectedly, the following items:

Alpha-H Skincare

The Balancing Cleanser, Liquid Gold, the Liquid Gold Smoothing and Perfecting Mask and the Absolute Eye Complex.

To summarize some of these products didn’t meet the high expectations I had and some did but you’ll have to read on to find out more.

Let’s start by talking about the cleanser. The Balancing Cleanser with Aloe Vera claims to hydrate and cleanse without drying and it’s main ingredients of note are Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. 200ml retails for around the £20 mark. So its a great huge tube with a fairly huge price to match. It does a great job though I have to say. I can get into the shower fully made up and leave without a trace of mascara under my eyes. This is really something. I think I’ve yet to find a cleanser that doesn’t give me panda eyes when used in the shower.  Also, I tend not to favour cleansers that you use with water, as my skin always get red and tight after using water on it, but not so with this stuff. A winner of a cleanser and an absolute godsend if, like me, using an eye make up remover in addition to a cleanser seems like too much hard work. Great stuff.

Next up, Liquid Gold. Something of a cult product this is a very highly regarded potion. It promised great things, most notably to bridge the gap between the world of the scalpel and the cosmetics counter. It’s a water based rejuvenating treatment, instantly absorbed which allows it to work at a cellular level. With each application, dead skin is lifted away, along with excess sebum, grime and remnants of make up with the aim of leaving smaller refined pores, collagen production reinvigorated and fruit acids claim to kill the bacteria which cause spots.  The main ingredients are liquorice and silk. Liquorice to brighten, diminish age spots and uneven skin tone and silk to bind moisture to the skin whilst improving clarity texture and radiance with its amino acids and lipid oil. Sounds nothing short of miraculous and everything my tired skin could wish for. 100ml is £28.

So you apply this with a cotton wool pad every alternative night and leave on the skin all night. Which I have done religiously. Alas, perhaps my expectations were too high, but other than my skin feeling very soft, I noticed no other improvements. My pores are as large as ever, my skin as congested as ever and this product was no match at all for my hormonal spots. I wanted this to work for me so much and it just doesn’t. It really tingles when you put it on the first time by the way, but this fades quickly and doesn’t seem to happen with consecutive uses. I have friends who absolutely swear by this product so I am sure that this is just my crap skin to blame and not the product, but for me, it wasn’t great.

Next, the Liquid Gold Smoothing and Perfecting Mask. Wheat germ oil, rose oil, lavender oil, honey, macadamia seed oil and 15% glycolic acid. The aim is to eliminate dryness, absorb excess oil and it is supposed to be something of a soft peel. Designed to improve fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, sun damage, clogged pores, blemishes, eczema and generally tired skin. Well now we’re talking! This really rocks my world. You put it on for 10 minutes, oh boy does it tingle, it tested my limits I have to admit, although its not painful, its just, tingly, but you can FEEL it working. When I wash it off, my skin feels amazing. Soft, clean, nourished, and just fresh. I can’t describe it, this is a great product and does everything that I hoped the Liquid Gold would do. Unfortunately it’s not cheap, it’s £43 for 100ml. Trust me to fall for the most expensive item I was sent. It’s worth it though. I’ve been using it once a week but would love to up this to twice a week, if anyone knows if that’s allowed I’d love to know.

Finally the Absolute Eye Complex. An instant pick me up for eyes, reflecting light away from all your eye nasties (puffiness, fine lines etc). It also contains a range of botanicals to tighten and rehydrate.  To be used morning and night and £32 for 15mls this is another product I had high hopes for that didn’t meet my possibly over inflated expectations. I’m used to products actually showing signs that they are working, you can see some of my previous product reviews for the kind of thing I mean, fine lines disappearing, wrinkles diminishing, all easily seen in before and after photos… there are no photos this time as there were no results. It felt lovely to apply, cooling and refreshing, but I have other products that do that, if I spent £32 on something I want visible results and sadly I didn’t get any. Again, I have friends who swear by this product.

So you see, a mixed bag for me, I love the Liquid Gold Mask and Cleanser and whilst I don’t hate the Eye Complex or Liquid Gold, I certainly wouldn’t rush out to buy, but you know this brand’s reputation goes before it now and I’m one voice in a sea of many many lovers, and I feel certain I’m in the minority group. You need to check it out for yourself! Definitely definitely, if you want to do something fab for your skin, treat yourself to the mask. It is a thing of wonder!

Any Alpha-H products I ought to try? Have you tried the above and loved them? Tell me all about it!

Organic Surge Skincare

Organic Surge. I’d vaguely heard of the brand but it wasn’t really on my radar. I was out of cleanser nearly when I was offered the chance to try it I was delighted.

The first observation I had to make was that normally I’m not a fan of busy packaging, I like minimalist things generally speaking, sleek and sophisticated, and this is not, but there’s something really appealing about the design of these products, I don’t know why! I just like it!

Organic Surge products are available from Boots and is packed full of natural goodness, organic essential oils, no harsh chemicals and they smell lovely. It’s what I’d call a budget line, i.e. its extremely reasonably priced. It’s been a long long time since I’ve used anything other than Lush or High End brands so I was quite looking forward to giving these a whirl. Here’s the low down on the items I was sent to try.

Daily Care Face Wash. Rose and Geranium oils foam beautiful and clear every last scrap of my make up, with no need for extra eye make up remover, this really does the trick and at £4.99 for 200ml this is unmissable. My total must have from the range.

Gentle Cleansing Lotion. Rosemary, Lemon and Chamomile oils all sweep away your make leaving your skin clean. Does a great job although it is this product that leaves me with my only complaint. There’s no toner in this range and I don’t like cleanser residue left on my skin. I know my skin is clean, but I find a toner essential for refreshing my skin after a cleansing lotion it’s a shame there isn’t one. I don’t have the same desire for a toner after a wash off cleanser. Anyway, this does the job lovely and I’ve just been using it with my Liz Earle toner and it smells beautiful. £4.99 for 200ml.

Super Intensive Daily Moisturiser. Rose and Geranium oils as well as Aloe Vera, this is a real treat. I wish I’d discovered this in my twenties before I wanted all my moisturisers to have SPF and anti aging properties! Actually, I hadn’t realised that I had the dry skin version (there’s also Blissful Daily Moisturiser for normal skin) since this is so light and quickly absorbed. I had noticed my dreaded dry patches remained at bay, it smells gorgeous and again is a total bargain at £7.99 for 50ml. Really nice.

First Class Mask. Rosemary and Lemon Oils this time for deep cleansing and it’s nice and hydrating too. I used this several times (to date) and each time my face has been left feeling clean, fresh and soft! Very nice again. £6.99 for 50ml.

I honestly have nothing bad to say about this range, aside from the fact that I think they should include a toner. For the prices it’s fabulous and I think I will continue without question to use the Daily Care Face Wash and the mask. The reason I probably won’t continue with the other two products is because I like a moisturiser with SPF and anti aging properties and although I wll happily continue to use the cream cleanser, once it’s goe I probably won’t replace because the Face Wash is enough for me. If you don’t like to spend a fortune on products for your skin but you still want products that work, whilst being kind to your skin then check out Organic Surge at your local Boots. I don’t think you’ll regret it!