Just Charlie G

Dull, dehydrated and prone to redness…. well add in some acne and you’ve got my skin type right there in a nutshell. I think however, I’ve found the answer in the Balance Me Radiance Face Oil*.

Balance Me Radiance Face OilBalance Me’s remit is quite simply to create beauty products that work naturally by blending essential oils and natural ingredients into cutting edge formulations.

Ingredients include Sweet Almond oil, grape seed oil, kukui nut oil, rosehip oil, buriti oil, moringa oil, camelia oil and jojoba oil as well as Vitamin E, chamomile, benzoin, yarrow and rosemary amongst other nice things all artfully combined to create a beautiful face oil to return some glow to the complexion as well as even tone.

To use you apply two drops (from the handy pipette) and apply either alone or under moisturiser. I’ve been opting for alone in the morning, and under my usual moisturiser at night. The smell of this is absolutely beautiful, it feels like an absolute treat to use.

Despite being an oil, its not greasy, and its a great product for all skins because of its balancing properties. Dry flakes are banished and I’m finding blemishes are soothed more quickly, thanks to the oil’s redness reducing properties!

A winner of a product.

£30 for a 30ml glass bottle, available from Balance Me Online.

*Product received free of charge for review purposes.

I’ve been meaning to review this review for so long but as I’ve now nearly finished the bottle I guess it’s a good time!

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Clarins Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate is designed primarily for sensitive skins and as a treatment. As such it’s not intended to be used every day for the rest of your life but more for when you’re having some issues. To use it you can apply as an emergency treatment if a problem occurs, or as a time specific intensive treatment every 1-2 days… simply apply a few drops to a cleansed face and finish with your moisturiser.

For me this has been used for two very specific purposes. Firstly, my nose, which doesn’t look or feel dry, until you put foundation on and then you can spot some flaky bits, so I use this on my nose but also it’s been an invaluable tool for spots that are on their way out. When they are nothing more than red marks and flakiness. It works really well to soothe redness and indeed soreness. The reason it’s so perfect for sensitive skins is that it calms irritations and inflammations with it’s beautiful ingredients…Lavender, Marjoram and Mint soothe, Soya and Avocado replenish, Olive Extract softens, Vitamin A derivative repairs and Xlmenia Extract Moisturises.

Personally I didn’t find this of any assistant on spots and blemishes  themselves, but the ones that were on their way out really benefited from a drop of this to help ease the flakiness and soothe the redness.

If you have sensitive skin or are prone to extreme dryness or have spots that need a helping hand on their way out, this is definitely worth a try!

It retails at £40 for 15ml, but it has literally lasted me months and months.

Available from Clarins online or counters nationwide.

*Disclosure – I received this product free of charge for review purposes*
Darphin Organic Rose Aromatic Care Oil

Since getting my skin back on track thanks to Murad (you can see my skin story here) I’ve been loathe to stray from what I now know works.

A couple of products have slipped into my routine though one a daily product I’ll tell you about in another post, and this, the Darphin Rose Aromatic Care.

I daren’t use this daily, and not even every other day. This is just when my skin needs an extra lift because it’s feeling a bit dry, like if I’ve had a cold or I’ve spent some time outside in the cold.

The Rose Aromatic Care promises a more radiant and glowing complexion along with hydration and a smoother looking skin.

Because I’m not using this daily I can’t give a recommendation for these promises, but what I can tell you is that it’s a godsend when your skin is dryer than the Sahara, and I’d imagine, if dry skin is a continuous problem for you, then this would be a fantastic product to have in your daily regime.

All you need is a few drops massaged into the face and neck, not only does it smell divine, but the ritual of applying an oil is really relaxing. It provides instant comfort and when applied at night (the only time I choose to use oils) my skin is baby soft in the morning.

Ingredients include Rose, Bay, Rosehip and Evening Primrose oils, highly recommend for dry skins, or occasional bouts of dryness.

Darphin Organic Rose Aromatic Care is £42 for 15ml, and is available from www.Darphin.co.uk.

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

01. 10. 2012

My skincare journey is in full force and my moves towards more natural skin care with less chemicals seems to be going well and my skin does seem to like it. It’s not that I have problems with ingredients exactly, it’s more a case of okay, my skin is shocking, it’s not getting any better, in fact it’s getting worse, lets strip everything back, get my skin on an even keel and then I can perhaps start adding things back into the regime.

I’m absolutely loving my Brenda Anvari Skin Tonic and Skin Serum and plan to add more products from her range in due course and will be having a Deep Pore Cleansing Facial in a couple of weeks, it’s not going to be a terrifically comfortable experience but I can’t wait!

Anyway, the founder and creator of Skin Guru got in touch with me recently with perfect timing  and sent over a couple of products for me to try out.

Skin Guru is a very new and very small company with a small range of products which I gather will be increasing in due course and their reputation is growing fast, even with a mention in Harper’s Bazaar. A definite watch this space brand.

The secret to great glowing skin is three simple steps using the beautiful products pictured below.

Skin Guru

Starting with the Facial Cleaning Oil £23. An absolutely stunning oil. It deeply cleanses my skin and professes to be especially effective for congested or problem skin, that’s me! Clears make up in a second, you just massage into your face and then remove with the Glow Cloth. The oil is anti oxidant rich, full of omega fatty acids (3, 6 and 9 if you’d like to know!), has anti inflammatory properties to prevent spots and break outs and can help fade scarring. Well my skin loves it. It leaves my skin beautifully clean and extra soft. I don’t feel the need to double cleanse with this oil, but mostly I do so anyway because that’s the habit I’m into. By far my favourite cleansing oil. I still love the Origins one, but this trumps it. Oh and it smells out of this world!

A Little word about the Glow Cloth (2 for £10). A cloth that feels like… oh I don’t know. Soft like velvet. But it cleans and exfoliates amazingly well. You wet your cloth, wring it out, place over your oily face, leave for a moment to inhale the oils, then start using upwards outwards strokes to remove your product, with small circular movements around your nose and chin. Switch to the clean side of the cloth and repeat.  Clears dry flaky skin a treat, it just fab, no idea how such a soft cloth does it, but its wonderful.

Finally, the Nourishing Facial Serum £45.  As a dehydrated person, I know I need products with Nourishing in the title (thank you Caroline Hirons!). Now I am not sure if this an oil that you can use morning and night, but I have been sticking to evenings, but I’ll explain why in a minute. The Facial Serum is packed full of antioxidants, fights free radicals, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, brings luminosity and can help fade scars and age spots. It smells amazing. I apply in the evenings and at first I woke up with a couple of small white heads, but that was day one and two, might not even be related, but whatever, my skin is fine now, that was weeks ago. I’m being really picky here but the pump dispenses too much product for my face, I have to make sure I use the pump very carefully and gently to get about the right amount, and even then it’s usually just a bit too much, but what the hell, I just go for it, which means although it does absorb quickly and nicely, as I’m using a little too much it does take that bit longer, which is the main reason I’m using this night times only. It’s glorious stuff. Actually, the other evening I accidentally washed my face with it thinking I’d picked up the Cleansing Oil. It was an expensive cleanse that’s for sure but hey ho, it did the job!

Beautiful beautiful products and highly recommended by me. I think the prices are reasonable for the glorious-ness of the products but if I’m totally honest, the range is probably a little out of my price range sadly, which makes it more the pity I’m using a bit too much of the serum as I’m trying to treasure it like Charlie and his Wonka Bar.

Do take a look at the Skin Guru website, all ingredients are listed as well as a wealth of information. Lovely stuff.

I can’t move for fabulous skincare at the moment! This a great thing as I’m making a big effort to move away from sciency clever expensive products and back to the more basic but effective products.

Pukka Ayurveda

Got to just say how much I love the outer packaging! It’s really very appealing.

Anyway, Pukka Ayurveda is a range of naturally active organic skincare, based around Ayurveda, an ancient Indian philosophy of heath and wellbeing which advocates skin detoxification and nutrient replenishment. So there’s lots of plant extracts and Ayurvedic herbs, beautiful oils, juices and butters and so on. All are organically certified, everything comes from sustainable sources and there are no petrochemicals.
Pukka Ayurveda

I want to talk about the Firming Face Oil first of all. It’s firming, which means it’s for mature skins… I think that’s me, or at least I’m not far off it!  There’s rosehip and starflower for plumping and tone enhancing and arnica and neroli to rejuvenate and protect. What a beautiful oil! It’s stunningly scented with  neroli and petitgrain. You just apply before or instead of moisturising. It’s an oil so a little goes a long way, don’t go mad, but it feels incredible and smells divine. Highly recommend. This is £34.20.

The other item I’ve been trying out is the Radiance Serum. Not what I was expecting at all, and unlike any other radiance product I’ve tried before. Its like a runny gel, more than an oil or usual serum. It disappears into the skin leaving not a touch of stickiness.  It’s made with aloe vera and manuka honey to soothe and refresh and Gotu kola (no clue!) and lemon balm to tone and brighten, it’s very gently scented with sandalwood but I think I can sniff the Lemon balm too. I use it every day under my moisturiser and I swear I do look a bit brighter! It’s suitable for all skin types and it’s gorgeous! This one is £28.80.

They are both available from the Pukka website. The website itself is to be particularly recommended, every ingredient is listed and there’s a fantastic FAQ section as well as a wealth of other information.

Beautiful stuff.

I’m a HUGE fan of the Clarins Blue Orchid Face Oil. For me this is almost perfection when it comes to my skincare. I say almost because I must confess that when the time of month comes round that I get those nasty hormonal spots, I tend to lay off this stuff. Or at least I’ll not apply it to my chin area where I get most of the spots… so I thought that the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil for Combination/Oily Skin might be more suitable for that week of the month.
Clarins Lotus Oil Review

This is undoubtedly a beautiful oil like my beloved Blue Orchid Oil. It smells beautiful, it applies and absorbs like a dream, not leaving you looking like an oil slick. This variant is as with all the beautiful oils, 100% pure plant extracts and in this case a naturally astringent blend. There’s rosewood, geranium, and lotus to purify, tighten pores and refine and hazelnut oil to soften, soothe and seal in moisture.

I find using these oils the perfect end to the day, the whole process of using them is amazing and the scent is great for sending you off to the land of nod.

This oil hasn’t worked out as well for me as much as I had hoped for sadly. Not because it doesn’t work but because when I use it I only want to use it on my congested areas and keep using the Blue Orchid on the rest of my face…which worked well for a while…but I’m a lazy beauty blogger, applying two oils to my face became more effort than I was prepared to make. I realise how ridiculous that sounds. If you want great skin then you need to put the effort in… alas I’m just not cut out for that kind of faffing around!

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this oil to anyone with oily or combination skin… alas I love Blue Orchid too much to give that up! £29 for 30ml.

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil

I’ve been introduced some incredible skincare products lately and I think slowly but sure I’m really getting a grip on my skin. My new Clarisonic is working wonders (although I’ll be happy when the purging stage is over), but just before I started using my Clarisonic I was sent this. The Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil for Dehydrated Skin.

I can’t tell you how much I love this stuff. It smells divine, it leaves my skin feeling amazing, it absorbs pretty quickly and its just an amazing product.

I have to say from the off I’m not sure what “dehydrated skin” is, or how it differs from “dry skin”. There is a treatment oil for dry skin and this one for dehydrated skin so they must be something different. It doesn’t really matter, what matters is that it works beautifully on my skin. 100% pure plant extracts with no preservatives, this oil contains Rosewood, Patchouli and Blue Orchid to tone, revitalise and restore radiance to moisture depleted skin.  Hazelnut Oil helps to prevent moisture loss and prevent the formation of fine lines.

This is an oil intended for use in the evenings only. I cleanse as usual then add a few drops to the palm of my hand and massage into my skin. If I’m feeling extremely dry (have had a lot of colds lately) I’ll add a touch of moisturiser to the dry bits as well, otherwise I just use the oil only.

When I wake up in the morning my skin feels plump, clean, healthy and most importantly moisturised but not congested. Obviously, I am now using a Clarisonic as well and some of these things can be attributed to that too, but I was using this oil for a couple of weeks before the Clarisonic arrived and I still noticed these results.

All in all, I highly recommend this and so my love affair with Clarins continues. It’s £29 for 30ml and I envisage this will last quite some time given how little you use.

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

Green People Facial Oil and Rejuvenating Cleansing Balm

Until the company made contact a couple of months ago, I wasn’t really aware of Green People. They sent me a couple of bits to try out and I’ll say from the start that I fully intend to check out more things because the products are fabulous.

Green People Facial Oil and Rejuvenating Cleansing Balm

The Organic Rejuvenating Cleansing Balm is a truly beautiful product. It’s recommended that before you start you hold a hot flannel to your face to open up your pores. Then you apply a small amount of the balm to the skin, massage in and then remove with a hot cloth, then finish by closing your pores with a cold flannel.

The balm smells out of this world which you’d expect given the Organic Ylang Ylang, Neroli and Jasmine oils. There’s also Pomegranate and Rosehip oils for rejuvenation and elasticity.  All you need to know is this, all make up melts away and your skin is left super clean, it’s certified with the Soil Association and is Vegetarian. It contains no Parabens, Lanolin, ethyl alcohol, artificial perfumes, petrochemicals, phthalates and colourants. It leaves no oily residue on my skin, causes no clogging or spots and I love it! Unfortunately I can’t provide you with a price as it doesn’t seem to be on the website at the time of writing, I know it definitely was there so am assuming that it is temporarily out of stock and of course as this post was written a week before posting, if that situation changes I’ll edit this post.

The Anti Ageing Facial Oil (£16.95) is another beautiful product. It was a winner in the Natural Health Magazine Beauty Awards and I’m not surprised. You simply apply this after cleansing using your fingers. I tend to use this at bedtime only although there’s no reason for this as it doesn’t stay oily on your skin. Suitable for those with eczema and psoriasis, this gentle oil contains Jojoba, rosehip and rose geranium oils, is free of all nasties, is vegetarian and vegan. I’ve found that when I use this at bedtime, in the mornings my skin is soft and plump and lovely. This will be part of my routine for a long time I think! You only need a couple of drops also so it will last a good long time. An extremely reasonable price as well I think for such a fantastic product.

Both Products should be available from www.greenpeople.co.uk but at the time of writing, only the Facial Oil is available. You can buy the Cleansing Balm from other stockists if you have a Google though but I am optimistic it will be back on the Green People site. I think I’m going to buy the kids shampoos and conditioners next and perhaps one of the moisturisers to try out 🙂

*Disclosure – PR Sample*