Just Charlie G
Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer

Are you loving my artists impression there? Hmm? Unfortunately I’m unable to give you a picture of the packaging at the moment as I understand that it’s not finalised. So I hope you enjoy my artwork. As you can see I am clearly wasted in the blogging world and should really be in graphic design or some thing that utilizes my awesome skills.

Um. Enough ego 😉 Onto the serious product review! In truth I can’t show you the packaging of the Primer I have. I can however show you an official image!

Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer

Estee Lauder  have released two new primers, the Matte Perfecting Primer and the Illuminating Perfecting Primer.

I’m a recent convert to primers, as in, the last year, and at first I was all about the dewy primers (and I still do love a primer that gives a lovely moisturising base, but I’ve also come to love a matte look, since discovering that matte is often a term used to mean  a product that keeps oil at bay without making you look flat and lifeless.

Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer

The Matte Perfecting Primer has a lovely texture. It’s is mattifying, velvety and does indeed keep oil at bay all day. Whilst I do suffer with what I’d call a normal amount of oil, I couldn’t really call myself oily, so it’s the additional benefits that I like. Namely minimising the appearance of pores, fine lines and imperfections. And it really does. It’s a great primer.

I’m guessing there are silicones in this, it does have that kind of feel about it, so far so good for me though and no massive horrific outbreaks. I like it.

I rather fancy the Illuminating Primer too which sounds lovely and also smooths imperfections. Also loving the sound of the Spotlight Instant Radiance product which you can apparently mix with your foundation to create a more luminous finish. Sounds lovely!

Anyway, both of the new primers are available now at £21.50

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

Clinique All About Age Defense BB Cream SPF30

I don’t get BB Creams! I really don’t get them. I’ve read about them, I’ve seen lots of them on blogs. I read brand descriptions of them but I’ve yet to understand why I would want to use one instead of foundation or tinted moisturiser in the Summer.

It’s not that I don’t want to understand, I really do, but I think the problem is that they all do different things. In short though here’s what I do know. BB stands for Blemish Balm, but it’s not a spot cream. It provides a small amount of coverage but it’s not a foundation. Some, like this Clinique offering, have anti-aging properties. They have primer properties but can be worn alone and have healing properties to help banish blemishes and they nearly all offer SPF.

Clinique’s offering provides a fantastic SPF of 30 which is great.

The Age Defense BB Cream is suitable for all skin types and is easy to apply. You use it after moisturising and over your entire face.

It’s available in two shades, 01 and 02. I’ve tried both and 02 was completely wrong for me, far too orange, so I was sent 01 to try out. My initial impression was that it was far too pale…and don’t get me wrong it is incredibly pale, but then I am pale and it works perfectly well on my skin, colour wise.

Clinique All About Age Defense BB Cream SPF30
Clinique All About Age Defense BB Cream SPF30
Clinique All About Age Defense BB Cream SPF30

I’ve heard tell of it having a grey tint and I have to say that when I was blending this into my face I did get a flash of grey which alarmed me at first, once fully applied and settled into my skin I couldn’t spot the grey at all.

In terms of coverage, at this time of year this isn’t enough coverage for me, never mind my hormones seem to be playing havoc with my skin, more than usual of late, so I’m happier with more coverage, this will however be perfect in the Summer for me, so long as it then isn’t too pale. I can’t see I’ll ever match a shade 02, not unless I fake tan and I don’t fake tan.

Here’s how my face looks with the Clinique BB cream. I’ve kept the rest of my make up to an absolute minimum so the focus is on how my skin looks.

Clinique All About Age Defense BB Cream SPF30

It’s very natural. All my freckles are showing through and in fact I’d go so far as to say it looks as though I’m not really wearing anything on my skin, which is actually a good thing, well on good skin days it’s a good thing.  It is SO pale that I could really benefit from some extra blusher, but otherwise it’s good.

I do find that my fine lines and wrinkles are less obvious and my skin feels very smooth. I have tried this as a primer also, but since I favour heavy foundations, it’s all a little much for my spot prone skin. No, I’ll be keeping mine to wear alone on good skin days, particularly in Spring and Summer if they ever come.

Really I don’t have many grumbles about this, it’s nice, but the main problem is the colours. Having tried both of the available shades I can guarantee that many people will be unable to find a match. Although sheer, they do still impart colour I’m not convinced two shades will fit all.

The All About Age Defense BB Cream is £25 for 40mls and lets hope that more shades will be added in future!

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

Paul & Joe Spring Collection

Paul & Joe Spring. Joyous words to my ears. Given my new addiction to the brand and all. I mean just look at the packaging. In particular the nail polish box there on the far right. Good lord its lovely! One of the amazing things about Paul & Joe is the design of everything and the above products don’t let you down even when you open the pretty boxes.

Paul & Joe Spring Collection

The first product I want to talk about is the bottle there on the far left which is the Moisturising Primer. This is part of the permanent line. The Primer is intended to extend the wear of your foundation and moisturise. It also contained a very subtle gold pearl, it’s so subtle that it’s extremely hard to spot but it’s there to add a little glow. The primer comes in three shades and I was sent the second shade, 2- Miel. Although this product is fairly translucent this shade is a little too dark for me sadly. I’ve used it anyway so I can review and you’ll see in the later photos my face is a little orange. The shade aside, its a lovely product, definitely moisturising and helps to keep my base in check all day. Very nice. This is £22.

Now onto a few bits from the amazing Spring Collection. In honour of Paul & Joe’s 10th Anniversary, all the items are inspired by designer Sophie Albou’s love of cats.

Firstly the lipstick in Meow, described as a natural pink.

Paul & Joe Lipstick in Meow

Absolutely love the little paw prints all over the bullet. So cute. As for the colour, it looks very natural in the tube but not terribly exciting, but I absolutely love it! It’s so gorgeous. Look!

Paul & Joe Lipstick in Meow

I’ve just had a cold and my lips are a little dryer and flakier than usual which you can unfortunately see on the photo, but really we’re looking at the colour, it’s very nice indeed. This is £16, wears very well indeed and although it appears matte in the above picture it’s not, it’s more of a satin finish, with a light sheen. Lovely every day lipstick.

Next up, the Face and Eye Colour in Purr-fect. £19.50.

Paul & Joe Face and Eye Colour in Purr-fect

So cute! I’d not normally pick green shades for myself which is a shame as I’d have missed out on this beauty. The packaging is again, beautiful. Really really beautiful. It’s a little cardboard box but if you were worried about carrying these around with you, Paul & Joe have it covered with a neat little thing.

Paul & Joe Face and Eye Colour in Purr-fect

Each box comes with a little band to keep your box shut. Cute! These are described as face and eye shadows, which probably only applies to the pinky-mauve and bronze variants not the green so I’ve obviously only used these as eyeshadows. The wear on them is excellent and the pigmentation is good too, although they didn’t swatch brilliantly, on the eye though these are fab. The pale green shade is a fab all over colour with the dark green being a lovely rich shade perfect for the crease and the ivory is great for where ever!

Please keep in mind I’m growing my eyebrows out before you think I’m hideously unkempt. I am, but it’s intentional. 🙂

Paul & Joe Face and Eye Colour in Purr-fect
Paul & Joe Face and Eye Colour in Purr-fect

It has a very pretty subtle shimmer.

Swatches of all of the above:

Paul & Joe Spring Collection

Finally there’s Tigress Nail Enamel £10.

Paul & Joe Tigress nail enamel

The only item I was sent that I wasn’t keen on. There’s nothing wrong with it, the formula is excellent as I’ve found to be the case with all Paul & Joe polishes. It’s just that for a nude shade it leans a little too peachy for my tastes, it’s a nice enough colour, just not my choice. Reminds me a lot of Revlon Grey Suede.

So that’s it! There are two more things in the collection I will definitely be buying. Firstly the Matte Pressed Powder.

Paul & Joe Spring Collection

OMG OMG OMG. I love Paul & Joe Pressed powders and I need that one in my life.

And finally I have to confess I have done a total about turn on the Paul & Joe cat shaped products. I’ve always found them a little creepy but if I don’t get the reddish Blusher Stick in my life I will actually cry. It’s so beautiful!

Paul & Joe Spring Collection

Love this collection SO much. Will you be getting anything?

Available from http://www.beautybay.com/ as of 1st February.

*Disclosure – PR Samples*

YSL Pore Refining Skincare BrushYSL Pore Refining Skincare Brush

Well I’ve pretty much lived my entire life without primer until this last year. The first one I tried was a massive fail and I nearly didn’t bother trying another one. The next two were brilliant, one extremely highly priced and the other a much more budget buy.

So the Yves Saint Laurent Pore Refining Skincare Brush claims to be a skincare product but I’d have to say it’s essentially a primer, the aim of which to mattify, reduce the appearance of pores and give you a generally smoother skin to work with.

The main thing that sets this product apart from other primers is the built in brush.

YSL Pore Refining Skincare Brush

I wondered how it was going to work and how well the brush would work but really it was flawless, you twist the brush into the on position, give a gentle squeeze until a little bit of product goes into the brush, then you brush the product where you want it… for me that’s the centre of my face mostly… down over my nose, up between my brows and out on to my cheeks… I don’t generally use primer all over my face, just on the bits I want to deal with and those are the areas where my pores are the largest and most obvious.

Well it’s another lovely primer. The wear of my foundation is definitely extended, my pores are indeed, all but the largest, invisible with the largest looking definitely minimised. It’s a great primer. Is it £36 worth of primer? Well yes, I’ve spent more on primer that’s for sure! I do absolutely love the MeMeMe Seventh Heaven primer, its probably my favourite budget product ever, and it’s hard to choose between them really.

Actually on reflection I’m not even sure it’s fair to, as the MeMeMe and Rouge Bunny Rouge Primer’s aren’t mattifying primers, whereas this one is. So in the end I recommend them all, and I think I can get away with saying that yes, I highly recommend this one if you are specifically looking for a primer that will mattify. I particularly like the application method of this one too, so far I’ve not tried it but I presume you can wash the brush for hygiene reasons.

Available from all the usual YSL stockists such as www.boots.com and www.houseoffraser.co.uk and priced at £36.

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

MeMeMe Seventh Heaven Enriched Facebase

MeMeMe isn’t a brand I’m overly familiar with, having only tried a few bits in the past (lovely eyeshadows!), but when I saw the press release for Seventh Heaven Enriched Facebase I knew I had to try it out. I don’t know why it appealed so much maybe it’s the name, or maybe it’s the packaging, or maybe it was the description, I don’t know, but I knew I wanted to try it.

A moisturising primer containing ingredients to calm, repair, rejuvenate, nourish, brighten and hydrate, Seventh Heaven contains Shea Butter, Vitamin A and antioxidants, along with Rosebay and Geranium  to heal and calm.

It’s small but powerful pot. And it smells gorgeous, lemon and mandarin and the texture is that of a gorgeous moisturiser.

MeMeMe Seventh Heaven Enriched Facebase

So the idea, as with most primers, is that you add a small amount to your face, leave to soak in for a minute or two then carry on with your foundation as usual.

What I was interested in was two things in particular, how would this cope with the dry patches on either side of my nose which foundations usually show up, and how would a primer that is moisturising cope with a whole day?

Well it’s amazing! It’s comfortable on my skin, it quickly absorbed, it left my skin soft and gorgeous, it moisturised (over my usual moisturiser), didn’t clog in my dry patches and stopped my foundation clogging in my dry patches and my foundation stayed put all day with no shine. What more can you ask for? It’s perfect and it’s a fraction of the cost of my last primer, leaving me feeling like a bit of a fool to be honest! I don’t need my super duper expensive one any more (although it is still fabulous, its just expensive!). If and when I ever finish my posh one, this will be the Primer I use for the rest of my life!

MeMeMe Seventh Heaven Enriched Facebase £15.00 available from www.mememecosmetics.co.uk and Superdrug stores nationwide.  Seriously if you need a primer that moisturises then try this.

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

01. 11. 2011

Nanoblur, if you’re a regular blog reader you’ll have heard about this, and indeed I did mention a week or so ago that I would be doing a review on it soon and so here I am!

So first of all lets talk about what it is and what is is supposed to do. Nanoblur promises you’ll look 10 years younger in 40 seconds an you can experience airbrushed skin. It claims to hide crows feet, sagging, lines and enlarged pores and it does this by using an advanced form of optical prism technology to literally blur lines and flaws. Millions of micro-prisms create the appearance of poreless skin I can be applied on top of liquid foundation, or underneath powder and if your skin is dry you can mix it with your moisturiser. Sounds miraculous no? And all this for the miraculous price of £19.99. I don’t know about you, but if I’d expect a product that promises all that to be considerably more expensive, £40+…

So does it deliver, well yes and no. I think it does without question blur the lines on my face. Ten years younger? No I don’t think so, but it is effective enough for me to want to use it every day. the bridge of my nose and under eyes, even my forehead love the stuff. Lines are if not altogether obliterated, softened considerably.

But there’s a problem. On my bare skin its fab, although I must say it gives an extremely matte finish. But my skin is really quite spotty so I’m not going without foundation for anyone. So although impressive that’s not an option for me. So I tried it on top of my foundation as suggested in the press release. It’s a total mess. Clumping in any bits of even slightly dry skin, pulling up my foundation underneath and leaving bare patches. It’s a mess. I have since been told that the formula only works on top of foundations that use nano technology.  At the present time I don’t have a list of those so I can’t advise. I’m also told that the wonderful Kenneth Soh recommends applying with a large brush to avoid clogging, this hasn’t worked for me but may be of some use to others.

What has worked for me is applying it under a powder foundation. I’m using Origins Brighter By Nature Powder Foundation which I do really love but don’t like to wear every day and under this it works really well. I can put on my Nanoblur and pat my powder on top and then swirl with a big powder brush if necessary and that is great.

So there we have it? Does it make you look 10 years younger? Not really. Does it have any effect? Yes it’s very good, just not 10 years worth of good. Is it easy to work with? Yes and no, yes if you don’t wear foundation or if you use a powder foundation or if your liquid foundation uses nanotechnology, otherwise its no good.

Would I recommend? Absolutely to anyone who fits the above criteria. Like my Mum who doesn’t wear foundation for example, or some friends I have that I know don’t like to wear a base. Yes, its great, but don’t expect it to work over your liquid foundation. And price wise, well I think it’s worth every penny.

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

L'Oreal Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer

I’ve never used a face primer before? Is that a heinous beauty crime? I don’t know. I’ve never really used one or seen the need for one to be honest.

But of late I’ve been looking at my pores and fine lines and thinking it’d be nice if I could do something more than I already do to camoflage them a bit.

And so I spent £14.29 buying the L’Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer. It has four of five stars on the Boots website and some decent reviews so seemed as good a place as any to start.

The product description certainly made it sound like it was just what I was after. Claiming to be inspired by professional make up artists, it masks wrinkles and uneven textures in the skin, making the complexion feel smooth, soft and velvety.

You are supposed to use it on shadowy areas such as under the eye, and on the least smooth areas, such as the forehead, sides of nostrils and around the mouth to stop lipstick running.

Well first things first this product does feel remarkable to the touch, and indeed as described, velvety, it’s beautiful. I should have properly read the description before I bought it though since I was hoping it’d work on my nose which has some rather obvious pores, but it doesn’t suggest using there. I ignored the instructions and put it on my nose anyway, all I have ended up with is clumpy foundation on my nose and I’ve tried two different foundations with it. It looks awful. It doesn’t do anything on those ravines I have on my forehead either. It does do a decent job of the smallest lines around my eyes, but I need it to do more than that.

Not impressed. If anyone wants it, £10 inc recorded delivery, used twice.

My search for a primer to minimise my pores continues!

Clinique Mascara WardrobeIt’s fair to say I’m a lucky blogger. Luckier than I deserve to be I’m sure.  Words cannot express how excited I was when Clinique’s Mascara Wardrobe popped through my letter box. I know these are hard to come by and I’m really grateful to Clinique for sending this out to me.
I’ll say from the start that this set isn’t available to buy, but all the products contained within are.  And what you’ll find inside is one each of every mascara Clinique make along with the Lash Building Primer.

Quite the make up lover’s treat.
Anyway, I’m not going to go through each one in detail as that would make this the longest post ever, I’m just going to show you the brush of each one and how it looks on, and I’ll just talk about my faves at the end.

Starting with the first, High Impact Mascara (£15):Clinique High Impact (3)
Next, Lash Doubling Mascara (£15) with Bottom Lash Mascara:Lash Doubling Mascara Bottom Lash Mascara
Lash Power Mascara (£15) with Bottom Lash Mascara:Clinique Lash Power Mascara with Bottom Lash Mascara
High Impact Curling Mascara (£15):Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara
Naturally Glossy Mascara (£15):Clinique Naturally Glossy mascara
High Lengths Mascara (£15) and Bottom Lash Mascara:Clinique High Lengths Mascara Bottom Lash Mascara
High Definition Mascara (£15):Clinique High Definition Mascara
Lastly, just a look at the Bottom Lash Mascara (£10) and Lash Building Primer (£10) brushes:Bottom Lash Mascara Lash Building Primer
So looking at that lot my stand out favourite is the High Impact Curling Mascara (stays put for 24 hours!). I love how this looks on me. I like my lashes to be lengthened and separated and I’m not so much bothered about volume as I’m lucky enough to plenty of lashes. The curl is evident and I really really love this.
I also love the High Lengths Mascara for similar reasons! It lengthens and separates my lashes giving me the look I prefer. Funny applicator with this one that took a little bit of getting used to, but its good and I really like it.

When I’m going for a bit more drama and want some volume then several of the above fit the bill, Lash Power, Lash Doubling and High Impact all fit the bill.

High Definition Mascara is also worth a mention, although my picture doesn’t show it too well as it’s too small it really has a great brush, which is half brush and half comb and separates each lash brilliantly.

The only one I was unimpressed with was the Naturally Glossy, there’s nothing wrong with it, it does what it says on the tin as it were, it just makes my lashes blacker, no lengthening, volume or anything, but that’s what it’s supposed to do so I shouldn’t grumble!

Finally, the Bottom Lash mascara and Lash Building Primer. Well the Primer is fab. I haven’t used it in any of the pictures above so you can just see the mascaras on their own but the Primer really does add extra length and volume and offers conditioning benefits too. The Bottom Lash Mascara is the newest product to be added to Clinique’s Mascara Wardrobe. Easy to write it off as an unnecessary item, I actually find it fabulous, it grabs every last tiny lash making them all show up, without being too OTT which I often find is the case with anything more dramatic. I also find when applying mascara to my lower lashes, I tend to get it on the skin under my lashes, not the case with this, and the tiny brush is fab.  The only problem I have with this is that I quite often forget to use it, as I’m always in such a rush, grabbing two separate mascaras seems a step too far, which is why it only appears in some of the pictures above!

Anyway, a fab collection of mascaras and there is definitely something there for everyone. The wear on all is fab and the prices are reasonable.

Anyway, I hope this post helps someone find a mascara that’s right for them!

So the weekend has been & gone along with a visit from my sister Lis or Aunty Boo as she’s known to my kids! She wasn’t here for long and I predicted some pretty intense make up application and removal as we tried different combinations but actually that wasn’t the case. I knew what I thought would look good and thankfully Lis agreed so we ended up only running through twice with a few adjustments the second time but I was really pleased with it and I think Lis was too. So without further ado I give you a whole load of photos!

I should mention that it was a concious decision to stay away from the usual neutral eye make up for two reasons, my sister’s colouring for one but the main reason being her wedding dress is pale blue so I felt that greys and silvers would be a better match.

The Before:

Wedding Make Up Practice

The Afters. This was the first run through and we decided to tweak a couple of things the second time round. The flash washed things out a little in these first pics and bought out too much of the shimmer but you get the idea!

Wedding Make Up Practice
Wedding Make Up Practice
Wedding Make Up Practice

So day two, I decided to switch out the MAC MSF (although we both loved it) and try Nars Orgasm instead, for a less disco effect. We also addeda touch of highlighter on the cheekbones and a smidge of contouring. We also added lipliner under the lipstick for longer wear and a hint more colour. The following pics are in daylight so I hope you can see that although the eyes are shiny, they aren’t as shiny as the flash pics made them appear.

Wedding Make Up Practice
Wedding Make Up Practice
Wedding Make Up Practice

So there we have it. The finished look. What do you think? I’m really pleased considering a) how nervous I was about it and b) my total lack of skill.

The products I used for this look are as follows:

Wedding Make Up Practice
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in Pebble
Estee Lauder Lucidity Translucent Powder in Medium
Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer in Light Medium
Elf Eyebrow Kit in Light
Clinique Pore Minimiser Primer in 01
Benefit 10 Powder (just the bronzer side)
Nars Orgasm Blush
Mac Soft & Gentle MSF
Estee Lauder Double Wear Lip Liner in Tawny
Clinique Butter Shine Lipstick in Pink-a-Boo
Clinique Lash Power Mascara in Black
Estee Lauder Double Wear Liquid Liner in Graphite
Mac Subculture Lip Liner
Mac Soft Ochre Paint Pot
Bourjois Gris Pailettes Eyeshadow
Mac Silver Fog Pigment
Mac Sweet Sienna Pigment
Mac Fix+

So there we have it. Typing that list up reminds me, anyone got Silver Fog or Sweet Sienna Pigments for sale?

I must also do a special thank you to both Clinique and Estee Lauder who provided several of the products used and several products that weren’t used. I am eternally grateful and it was a great great help. Thank you.

25. 01. 2010

Hi all, hope you all had a fab weekend and a not too bad Monday. My weekend was pretty uneventful really, just popped into town on Sunday for a few bits, a fry up and a Costa coffee and cake. Big G and I are Latte fiends and have a homemade one every single night at 9pm in a tall mug, but usually at least once a weekend we do a Starbucks or Costa run into town. It tricky though because Costa does the best coffee but Starbucks do the best cakes, like Apple and cinnamon fritters and chocolate cake doughnuts…but I digress.

Aaaanyway, I nipped into Superdrug for some baby things and a couple of bits might have fallen into my basket. Namely the Barry M Silver Metallic eyeliner that I fell in love with when I saw Muhsine review it over at bubblegarm. I dunno, it swatched nicely on my hand, beautifully pigmented but I can’t get it to work well on my lids at all. It kind of skids over bits leaving bare patches, but I’ll try again tomorrow with some UDPP and I’ll take some pics if I can.

The other thing was that I gave into the hype and bought myself Gosh’s Darling. Hmm. I’ll have to try it again tomorrow because it was definitely a bit meh on me. And streaky. I think I’m just too in love with MAC mattes. I’ll try again though.

Finally, 40 followers! I’m thinking I’ll do a giveaway if I ever get to 100 but that seems more possible now than it did when I started. Thank you everyone who takes the time to read my inane ramblings 🙂

Lots of love,