Just Charlie G

Today I’m blogging about the newest launch from skincare brand Dermalogica. Meet the Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer.

Dermalogica Hydralogica PrimerThe classic, simple Demalogica packaging, doesn’t give really give a clue as to the treasure hidden inside.

Dermalogica Hydralogica Primer The primer is a lightweight, non-greasy product that has a blurring effect on fine lines and wrinkles, mattifies to protect against shine and gives a silky finish. When you apply it, its amazing, it provides the smoothest canvas for your make up you can imagine. It hides my pores and my make up glides on. It also lasted really well on my skin, meaning my foundation still looked great at the end of the day.

A particular bonus for me is that, as a sufferer of spots, I often have dry flaky patches on my skin and this hides them perfectly. Makes such a nice change to not have flaky patches of foundation on my face. You can of course opt to skip your foundation and this just smooths and very lightly perfects your skin.

There is a downside in my opinion, and this solely based on my skin, but I try, as a rule to avoid silicones in products, I have not managed to isolate which silicones have an effect on me but there is one that really aggravates my skin and causes cystic acne.  Now the VAST majority of people I know are just fine with silicones, and you can thank the silicones for the amazing feel of your skin once the product is in place, but because I’m so concerned about causing acne, I have avoided reaching for this every day.

The long and the short of it is though, that if you know you are okay with silicones, and let me stress that I think I am in a very small minority, then this is an incredible product. You need a tiny amount to create a flawless, smooth canvas for your make up, and it keeps everything in place for so long, its brilliant.

Oh and another neat thing is that it comes with a brilliant little gadget for squeezing your tube, meaning no wastage and no effort to get out every last drop. Its a touch of genius and I wish other brands would follow suit!

Dermalogica Hydralogica PrimerI believe the retail prices is £38.00, and to find your nearest stockist please visit www.dermalogica.co.uk/uk/

*Product provided free of charge for review purposes

I mentioned recently that I’ve had a little return to Mac after a lengthy break, and I’m honestly wondering what I was thinking because all of the items I bought have been excellent.

Today I’m reviewing the Mac Prep + Prime Natural Radiance primer in Radiant Pink.

Mac Prep & Prime Natural Radiance Before I go any further, we just need to talk about the packaging. You can’t tell in the above photo, but both the box and the pump bottle sparkle…

Mac Prep & Prime Natural Radiance I wasn’t at all expecting the glitter and its so pretty. Just wanted to mention it as its a cute change from Macs normal plain black packaging and containers.

I’ve used primers in the past but none have been miraculous enough to keep me using it daily. Some have been outright terrible. Some have broken me out. Some have been okay but not mind blowing. I have however been having problems with foundation on my nose. Although my nose doesn’t feel especially dry, it would seem that when I apply foundation there, my nose is actually bone dry, and patchy, and its very difficult to get a good foundation application on my nose and even my most favourite foundation isn’t perfect. While I was in the Mac store recently I asked for a foundation recommendation, but when I explained my problem they suggested I keep using my foundations, but try a primer and this is the one they suggested.

Prep + Prime Natural Radiance is available in both Radiant Pink and Radiant Yellow, but with my pink tones, it had to be pink for me. Actually its the merest hint of colour so I’d imagine it wouldn’t make a tremendous difference if you were to buy the wrong shade.

Mac Prep & Prime Natural Radiance The texture is a gel formulation and is really light,  and it hydrates and primes with the intention of hydrating, while making your foundation apply smoothly, control oil and improving texture. There are lovely ingredients too, vitamins and plant extracts as well as pearl powders for radiance. And a great relief for me, if there are silicones, they are light handed. There isn’t the usual velvety feel you get with silicone heavy primers, and they usual break me out. I’ve only been using this for a week, but so far no break outs and under usual circumstances, it takes as little as a day for a product to cause me spots.

I absolutely love this. Yes it does impart some radiance which is lovely, it definitely gives me some glow. There are also definite sparkles, however, they are are widely spread and tiny, meaning that once your foundation is in place they are not visible at all, which is good.

The main reason I love this is my foundation does look flawless, even on my nose, when I use this, its perfect. Not only that, but it stays that way for much longer than foundations usually do, a good eight hours, where my foundation has usually slipped by lunchtime.

I also like that it works as well on my dry patches as it does on my more oily patches… hello chin. All areas are equal when it comes to this primer, so I’d say it was suitable for most skins, if not all.

The only downside in fact is the price, at £29.50 this is a pricey product, but you do get 50ml and you need only the smallest amount for your whole face. Smaller than a pea size blob and I’d envision this lasting ages.

If you’ve got the cash and you’re looking for a primer, I’d definitely recommend this one. Check out your local Mac shop/counter or online.

Who doesn’t love Urban Decay? Not many people I know that’s for sure, and my blog stats tend to point towards my Urban Decay posts being my most popular. It’s fortunate then that I have a few more posts lined up!

Starting today with the Urban Decay Naked Skin Illuminating Beauty Balm*.

Urban Decay Illuminating Beauty Balm Urban Decay Illuminating Beauty BalmThe Illuminating Beauty Balm promises to minimise the appearance of pores, lines and wrinkles, while feeling lightweight on the kin and offering radiance. It’s oil free, which is great for my spot prone skin and can be worn alone, or under foundation if you want to add radiance in that way. It’s not only cosmetic though, it promises to also offer long term anti-ageing benefits, by way of protecting the skin from daily stress, as well as improving elasticity.

Love the packaging too, I really like how Urban Decay design fun products, that don’t lack class.

Urban Decay Illuminating Beauty BalmSqueezing some out of the tube, my first thought is that the shade looks suitable for my skin, and while I can see a slight shimmer it looked as I’d expect a product designed to give glow.

Urban Decay Illuminating Beauty BalmBlending the product out a little I start to see glitter. Not chunky glitter admittedly, but perhaps shimmer is a better word.

Urban Decay Illuminating Beauty Balm

Urban Decay Illuminating Beauty BalmUnfortunately, the same holds true when you apply to your face, look closely and you’ll see a fine sprinkling of quite obvious shimmer, all over. That said, take a step back and its no longer as obvious.


Urban Decay Illuminating Beauty BalmThanks to the hormones, my skin is a bit blemish-y at the moment so I’ve not worn this without putting foundation over the top, but wearing it in that way works really well for me. It may be something to do with the fact that I wear the Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation, but these two products go together really well. That glitter/shimmer is no longer apparent but the radiance is and its really effective.

I rarely skip a highlighter these days, as my skin is lacking in radiance, but with this under my foundation I found my face isn’t as flat without a highlighter meaning I feel happy to skip that step.

It wears really well, and my foundation applies perfectly on top of the BB with no conflict. I’ve also tried it with Clarins Everlasting Foundation with the same results.

I’m not sure how happy I’d be to wear this alone, solely because of the shimmer aspect, its not densely packed with shimmer, its more sparkles dotted all over your face, but again, I may be overly critical, just take a step away from the mirror and they are not apparent at all.

Under foundation though, this is fantastic, works really well for me and wears well too on my fussy skin.

The Urban Decay Naked Skin Illuminating Beauty Balm retails at £23.50 and is available from Urban Decay online and counters nationwide.

*Product received free of charge for review purposes.




New to Benefit’s POREfessional range of primers is License to Blot. I’ve not tried any of Benefit’s primers so this was a first for me.

enefit Porefessional License to Blot

Talking about primers generally, I’m not a big user of them, I buy them because I should use them, but in reality, they sit in my make up drawer unused.

enefit Porefessional License to Blot

The POREfessional: License to Blot is wind up stick format primer, designed for instant oil blotting but which promises up to 6 hours of shine prevention.

I’ve only got a little a trial size which is cylindrical but the full size product is actually a clever triangular shape, ideal for getting into nooks and crannies, such as around nostrils.

enefit Porefessional License to BlotTo use, I personally find it best to use in conjunction with a traditional primer. Once you’ve got your make up in place you can pop this on over your foundation, then take it with you out and about for on the go touch ups where necessary.

I’ve found it a bit hit and miss in all honesty, it doesn’t work at all over a couple of my foundations, it lifts the foundation, smears it around a bit, it works well over my Clarins Everlasting Foundation but not at all over my Urban Decay Naked Foundation.

In terms of working well, it does keep my oil at bay, but that said I’m not terribly oily, but it does keep me matte.

I would tentatively recommend this but ideally you need to try it over your foundation first before purchasing, but if you don’t wear foundation at all it’d probably be great. There is a knack to applying over foundation, and Benefit recommend short, swift strokes and I agree that works best.

To be honest, it’s not ideal, its not much use to many, but if you can make it work, its worth having in your kit but realistically that won’t be many of us! Its a shame as the format, the twist up stick, is great for the handbag.

RRP is £15.50 and you can buy from Benefit Counters and Online.

*Item received free of charge for review purposes.

If you like a dewy finish to your face then look no further as I have the product for you, well, maybe. Read on to find out why I’m conflicted.

Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm

Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm

I’ll start by saying I’m ashamed to admit this is my first try of an Elemis product. The brand as a whole are widely respected both in the blogging and wider worlds so I was pretty excited by this.

The Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm is a hybrid product, being both a moisturiser (a light one) and a primer. This means for many of us we can skip a step, leaving out your moisturiser or your primer and just opting for this.

Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm

In terms of the product itself, well first off it is very heavily scented. Now this doesn’t bother me at all but if you don’t like scented skincare you’ll want to skip this. To me this smells beautiful, it’s very floral. Texture wise it’s a thick cream but applies like a light moisturiser. I can’t really explain that too well. It comes out of the tube thickly, like a balm, but when you apply it it feels like you’re applying something much lighter and it feels cooling and soothing. So far so good.

Although it’s intended to be a “flash balm”, the flash doesn’t come from glitter or shimmer so you won’t find any of that in this tube of stuff, instead it just add’s a boost of glow, or rather dewy-ness to your skin.

I find that it makes a perfect canvas for foundation too and allows the dewy effect to show through, without turning your face into an oil slick.

For me, this hasn’t worked out well as part of my daily ritual, I’ve a long history of problems with my skin and within a few days of using this the spots had started to appear. Now I don’t want to put anyone off with that, it’s well documented that my skin can’t take many things without breaking out and whilst I mostly have it under control now my hormonal outbreaks are still getting me down, but I digress, basically my freaky skin started to break out. I think generally speaking though this would suit most people with no issues at all, except maybe the oily skinned of us, or those already prone to break outs. Certainly if you can get a sample to try out I’d recommend it as the finish it leaves on your skin is beautiful.

Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm is £32 for 50ml and available from Debenhams and Time to Spa

*PR Sample
**This post contains an affiliate link.

I love love love the futuristic sciency look of this product from Stila. Take a look at their One Step Correct Primer.

Stila One Step Correct

Stila One Step Correct

So what we have here is a clear anti-ageing serum swirled with lilac, peach and green.  The product claims to be a primer, a colour corrector, a brightener and as I mentioned, anti-ageing. As well as reducing the appearance of imperfections whilst reducing fine lines, pores and pigmentation. Oh and if that’s not enough for you it helps to moisturise and control oil production. Phew.

So here’s how it looks when it comes out of the tube, partially blended and then nearly completely blended.

Stila One Step Correct

Stila One Step Correct

Stila One Step Correct

It just looks so cool!. Now you may note that on the last picture there my hand has a definite green hue… there are two reasons for this, firstly I didn’t completely blend it out and secondly there’s no redness on my hands for it to work against. On my face I’ve not yet noticed a green cast, but even if I had I’m perfectly happy that this would be invisible once my foundation/BB or whatever is on top.

So what do I think? Well I don’t think it lives up to all it’s claims, but those that it does live up to make this a daily must have for me.

So to be blunt, I don’t think it minimises my pores, I can’t measure whether it’s anti ageing or not, I don’t think my fine lines are especially reduced when wearing this and I don’t think I look much brighter.

What it does do incredibly well is even skin tone imperceptibly, leave absolutely no residue or sensation on the skin, seconds after application you have no sense that it’s there at all. Then it makes my make up glide on well and I have endless problems with clogging around my nose, but there’s none of that with this meaning it’s a both a decent primer and a decent extra dose of moisturiser. My make up wears very well with this on too. Oh and a little goes a long way.

This little beauty will set you back £24, but its worth it in my opinion and would definitely purchase another bottle in future.

You can purchase direct from Stila.co.uk.

While we’re on the subject of Stila, I’ve been fancying their foundations for quite a while now… does anyone have any experience of any of them?

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

New CID Cosmetics

New CID are a brand that have been on my radar for a long time now but somehow I just never got around to trying them out until now. All I can say is what took me so long! I was sent a selection of goodies to try out so I’m just going to try not to waffle too much but give you a little overview of each product.

Starting, naturally with the i-prime Foundation Primer £27 for 30ml.

New CID Cosmetics i-prime

If you want a primer to help blur your imperfections and make you look smoother and more radiant then this is fantastic. I love everything about it, great packaging, great primer, makes me make up last all day with ease. I apply this every day under whatever foundation I’m wearing (and that depends on how bad my skin is!).

Then there’s the i-perfection Colour Adjust Foundation £26.

New CID Cosmetics i-perfection colour adjust foundation

Again, fantastic packaging. Pump bottle with a little window down the side so you can see how much product you have left. So simple, so useful! This is now my go to foundation for days when my skin isn’t completely clear but my spots are on the way out. I have the palest shade Nougat and it works a treat on my skin. It is extremely pale when I apply it (although this matches my very pale skin very well) but over a period of time this does indeed adjust and warms up a little so it’s a little less white. It’s really fantastic stuff. It offers light to medium coverage, and to get that medium level of coverage it’s very easy to build up. I find when I apply this dries on my skin quickly so rather than dabbing on my face in all areas and then blending, I tend to work on an area at at time. The finish is satin but leans towards the matte side rather than shiny. Loving this. There are eight shades in the range.

Hand swatches of the Primer and the Foundation.

New CID Cosmetics

i-blossom! This is a pressed powder blusher with a stamp. £18.50.

New CID Cosmetics i-blossom

I have wanted to try this blusher for the longest time and pleased to say it doesn’t disappoint.  What you have is a little pot. When you unscrew the lid, it sort of springs out with a sponge that already has your blusher on it ready to go, and that’s because the blusher lives in the bottom of the pot.

New CID Cosmetics i-blossom

There are three shades, Rose, Petal and Tulip, the shade I have is Rose. When you put this on your cheek it is very pigmented and quite bright but a quick sweep with a brush and it’s blended out to a perfect flush. Definitely highly recommended!

Then we have the i-colour Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadow £14

New CID Cosmetics i-colour long wear cream eyeshadow

I have this in the shade Zinc, just my colour. A Black with silvery shimmer. This is a mousse like texture which you can sheer out or build up and is not unlike the Chanel Illusion D’Ombre in Mirifique…but there’s a difference. I didn’t get on with the Chanel really. I loved how it looked but it just didn’t stay the distance. This DOES NOT BUDGE. ALL DAY. The first cream eye product I’ve tried that actually does what it promises. This is fabulous.

Hand swatches of the blusher and eye shadow:

New CID Cosmetics

The final product I was sent to try out is the i-set Make-Up Setting Spray £18.

New CID Cosmetics i-set

There’s not a lot to say about this. Spray it on over your finished make up and off you go. This is fab and packed full of anti oxidants. Really great. I feel like I should say more, but there’s not much more to say, this is quick and easy to use and definitely helps your make up stay put all day!

Here’s my Face of the Day using ALL of the products above, sorry I don’t have one of my eyes closed so you can really see the Eye Cream.

New CID Cosmetics


I literally don’t have a bad word to say about any of the products I’ve tried, all it’s done is fuel my desire to get more. So after Christmas I’m going to be shopping! Next on my list are one of the i-shadow Quads, Shimmy Shimmy or Oman, or maybe both, the Foundation Buffing Brush, one of the i-kiss Lip Colour pencils, the Charcoal i-smoulder which is a eye pencil and shadow, the i-conceal and of course one two or three of the i-glow shimmer powders which look stunning.

Any recommendations for me? Anything take your fancy here?

*Disclosure – PR Samples*

Smashbox are a Los Angeles based makeup brand born from the Smashbox Studios, one of LA’s most popular photo studio complexes, in my limited experience I believe they are well known for professional standard cosmetics so its great they are having this relaunch here in the UK.

Not too long ago there was a blogger launch event which I wasn’t able to attend but I was excited to receive a little parcel of goodies to try out.

Smashbox Cosmetics

To date my only experience of Smashbox is a rather lovely eyeshadow duo that I realise I’ve not yet blogged about (but will do now I’ve remembered!), so this is really rather a new brand to me.

The first I’m going to show you is the Photo Finish Foundation Primer (£25)

Smashbox Cosmetics

I’m not going to review this in any great detail because I’ve only tied it out about three times. The reason for this is simply that in an effort to sort my face out I’m trying to avoid primers and steps I don’t really need at the moment until things are all a bit clearer. There is a great range of primers, one for every skin type and this one is for normal to dry skin. It suits me fairly well but I suspect that Actually the Photo Finish Colour Correcting Foundation Primer for irritated/sensitive skin might suit me better. That said, this performed exceptionally well,  my skin fell lovely all day long and my foundation lasted very well indeed.

Next is the Photoset Finishing Powder SPF 15+ (£18)

Smashbox Cosmetics

This is a super fine powder, pure white, but translucent on application. It’s matte, and absorbs oil and goes on very smooth indeed… it sets my make up well and I do believe gives me a sort of soft focus effect, which is nice. I do find that when I first apply this it can look quite powdery but it settles down quite quickly leaving me matte, but not lifeless. Which is a good thing.

Then my fave product, the O-Glow Intuitive Cheek Colour (£21)

Smashbox Cosmetics

This is one of those products that they claim interacts with your own skin chemistry to create the colour you blush. I don’t know about that really, but I do know I love it! TI comes out of the tube perfectly clear and changes colour very quickly to a gorgeous perky pink, and whilst it looks a bit bright and vivid, it’s almost impossible to overdo. Trust me, I’ve tried!

Here it is fresh out of the tube, I couldn’t snap it quick enough, it started to turn pink the second it was out of the tube, but it is still mostly clear.

Smashbox Cosmetics

And here it is blended out.

Smashbox Cosmetics

So that leaves the final product which I also like a lot, the Brow Tech to Go in Brunette (£19). I must apologise in advance for the blurry photographs here.

Smashbox Cosmetics


Smashbox Cosmetics

A very very natural looking brow product. You can see the swatches in the photos next to the blusher pics above that the shade is a little patchy, streaky. Perfect in fact for filling in and building up your brows without fear of getting any heavy or harsh lines. The pencil itself is angled and twists up and at the other end there’s a clear gel to comb through afterwards. I still like my brows to be full on most days, but not every day and its those days where I’m channelling a more natural looking me that I reach for this pencil. It really is fantastic. The angled product makes drawing in your shape and filling in a breeze. You can see this in use in the final picture below.

I’m wearing all the above products in the following picture. I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that this was about three days before I got my hair and eyebrows sorted by professionals 😉

Smashbox Cosmetics

So all in all I’m impressed!

Unfortunately for me I now have the most hefty wishlist of products. I’d like the High Definition Healthy FX Foundation, the Contour Kit, the Soft Lights Powder, the Artificial Light Powder and any of the incredible looking eyeshadow palettes. Smokebox, Softbox and Image Factory Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette all look amazing.

Anyway, time to wrap it up. Smashbox products are available from www.smashbox.co.uk and www.boots.com.

*Disclosure – PR Samples*

Dr. Lewinn's Instant Beauty Radiance Booster

Here’s a product rave for you. Got to say, Dr. Lewinn’s  is really doing it for me at the moment. This product is insanely good.

Dr. Lewinn’s Instant Beauty Radiance Booster Contains Aloe Vera, Rice Bran Oil, Olive Fruit Oil, Olive Leaf Extract, Algae Extract, Witch Hazel Extract, and Bisabolol. Lots of good things in short. You can use this in several ways, alone, as a instant hydration boost, or just before bed, apply a generous amount to your skin and tissue off the excess after 15 minutes before following up with your night cream, but my preferred way of using this is after my moisturiser as a make up base.

I tried to capture in photographs what this does but I couldn’t, but in all face pictures for the last couple of months, I’ve been wearing this. It’s my daily must have now.

It moisturises, it soothes and smoothes, it boosts radiance, it softens the appearance of lines and wrinkles and it helps my make up stay put longer and apply more evenly.

This is just incredible. It’s £26 and is a definite repurchase for me, I can’t imagine not using it every day, it just makes my skin look line free, plumper, smoother, brighter and fab. I was similarly impressed with the Dr Lewinn’s Firming Eye Cream I reviewed recently. I’m also using another couple of products I’ll review shortly that I’m loving so I’m looking very closely at this brand right now. Loving the sound of the Cosmetic Lift Set especially!

Available from www.drlewinns.co.uk, best primer ever.

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

Paul & Joe Pearl Foundation Primer BonBon

You know that thing when you see something you really want but you dither for so long you leave it too late? That happened to me with this product, the Paul & Joe Pearl Foundation Primer BonBon. I wanted it, I dithered, it sold out. But I have to say, I hadn’t really registered that it was a Limited Edition product…and then it was too late. Until one day I was browsing the Paul & Joe section on Beauty Bay and there it was!

It’s not like I need more primer in my life. If there is one thing I don’t need more of, its Primer btu you know, I’m addicted to Paul & Joe and this looked so pretty I just felt I needed it my life. If only to look at from time to time. So in the shopping basket it went and arrived nicely packaged a few days later. I’ve mentioned Beauty Bay in the past but I really do recommend them, a fantastic range of products and great service.

Anyway I digress. I think they must have got another batch in, but it’s gone again now and I doubt it will be back, but it’s probably worth keeping an eye out because bottles of this stuff are going for far too much money on Ebay when it does occasionally crop up.

This primer is designed to go under your foundation to illuminate. Ingredients include Orange Flower Water, White Lily Extrac, Jojoba Oil and Apricot Extract with the idea that not only is it a cosmetic product but that its also a kind of skincare too.

What you’ve got is a clear gel filled with coloured beads that get crushed when you dispense the product.

Paul & Joe Pearl Foundation Primer BonBon

There are white, peach, lilac and lemon yellow pearls and I don’t think that on application they really have much in the way of colour, which is good, if they do it’s very subtle.

Paul & Joe Pearl Foundation Primer BonBon

If you enlarge the above picture you’ll see there’s quite a lot of very tiny glitter particles. It’s not terribly offensive but it is apparent. When you blend it out the sparkles are far enough apart to avoid the Cullen look, and once you’ve got your foundation on top you can’t really see any sparkle at all. You’ll probably have to enlarge this picture to see the sparkles, they are very pretty.

Paul & Joe Pearl Foundation Primer BonBon

I’m not afraid to say that when I first got this I just ear marked it for evening use only, but actually once your foundation is in place then its fine and it is indeed illuminating.  One note, in the two pictures directly above this you may see a little white bit of unblended product… looks like one of the little spheres didn’t completely crush when being pumped out so you need to take care to blend properly when you apply it.

So so happy I actually went back and managed to get this!