Just Charlie G

I don’t tend to feature a lot of mens products on this blog, largely because getting G (aka Lord of the Lane) to actually write reviews is nigh on impossible. I also tend to steeer clear of press release posts because I think they are kind of boring unless it’s an especially exciting launch.

This isn’t especially exciting but I do hope it will be useful with FathersDay looming this weekend and Liz Earle is a brand I really believe in.

Father's Day at Liz Earle

The Shave Essentials kit is £28.35 and includes Sensitive Shave Cream, a towelling cloth and a the Liz Earle After-Shaving Moisturiser all in a wash bag. I’ve got mine on order for Father’s Day for a special Grandad.

Also available are the Cleanse & Polish Hot Clothe Cleanser Starter Kit £13.25 and the Face Scrub (£12.25). Both designed with men in mind and I think we all know by now how ifonic the Cleanse and Polish cleanser is and the men’s is no less fabulous.

So if you’re really struggling to think of Father’s Day pressies and your Dad is into a bit of grooming, then take a look at these. Available from http://www.lizearle.com/.

Argh, I’ve been meaning to write this review for a long long long time.

I like Soap & Glory products generally speaking, they don’t blow me away but I like the smell and they do what they are supposed to do.

Even so it pains me to write a not great review of a product but when I buy something with my own money and its a let down… well sometimes it’s good to share.

Soap & Glory Flake Away

The blurb goes something like this:
Transforms your scaly legs from reptilian to radiant. Nothing eliminates dry surface flakes as fast as Flake Away™. For superhero-strength skin smoothing spa body polish with Shea Butter, sweet almond oil, peach seed powder, sea salt and sugar..”

Now then. Lets start with the positives because there are some. It smells nice. Synthetic and not totally up my street but it’s a clean, perfumey kind of a scent and it’s nice. It’s a great consistency. I like scrubs to be scrubby. I don’t want a few random jojoba beads dotted in a cream, I want to feel like I’m sloughing away the dead skin. This is gritty (without being harsh) and feels utterly fab.

The negatives, it’s a oil base I think. Not unusual,  I’ve used oil based scrubs before with no bother. But this isn’t like other scrubs.

You’re supposed to scrub until the salt and sugar have dissolved and then rinse away. I find that nearly impossible although you can get most of it dissolved. No the real problem is the oil, whatever grains are left on your body, or get rinsed from one part of your body past another, stick. So you can expect to find grains under your armpits if you’ve done your shoulders, trapped in any hair you may have on your body (not that I have much I hasten to add), stuck in your bum (not literally in your bum but I don’t want to go into too much detail….) and so on. And although you may be stood under a constantly running shower, they just don’t budge. And you don’t know they are there until you start drying and its gritty. Which isn’t pleasant.

I want to love this product, it smells good, it is just the right consistency, it leaves my skin soft and smooth but I cannot stand the hidden grains on my body that just don’t budge because they are stuck to the oil residue on your skin which is presumably doing it’s moisturising thing.

I know people LOVE this brand and I know people LOVE this product and I can’t help but wonder what on earth I’m doing wrong because it really does seem to be only me that has this issue! I won’t be buying again thats for sure.

Aromatherapy Associates Enrich Body ScrubYou might remember a while ago I fell in love with the Aromatherapy Associates Enrich Body Butter, a truly stunning luxury product. I also received the Enrich Body Scrub and wanted to let you have my thoughts on this product too.

Scrubs are my favourite body products and I’m very fussy about them. Not only do I have a lot of rough skin to get rid of but I just love the sensation of being scrubbed, and for me to fall in love with a scrub it has to be brutally scrubby!

So the Enrich Scrub is packed full of coffee, frankincense and pink grapefruit in a deep cleansing salt base wtih sweet almond oil to moisturise. It ain’t cheap but then often the good stuff isn’t! It’s £33 for 200ml.

Firstly it smells beautiful as you would expect from Aromatherapy Associates, but the first thing I really noticed about using it was that it wasn’t scrubby enough for my tastes…it is however beautifully rich as I think you can tell by looking at the product.

Aromatherapy Associates Enrich Body Scrub

After drying though there’s no denying my skin felt amazing, soft and smooth and lightly scented. It really is beautiful. I don’t really think there’s enough in the pot for regular use all over the body so I save mine, along with the body butter, for those days when the PMT is at its worst, or I really need a luxurious bath, it really just can’t be beaten, and I stick to using it on just my roughest parts, like my upper arms!

Yeah it might not be as scrubby as I usually like my scrubs to be, but there’s no denying this packs a powerful punch and again is an absolute luxury product that feels amazing when you use it. Just using such luxury products can help to make you feel better after a crappy day. I can live without the heavy duty scrub feeling in this product because the other benefits are so great.

Unless you are particularly rich it’s not an every day product, but if you have a birthday or other special occasion looming (Mothers Day?), this is well worth hinting for!

Available from http://www.aromatherapyassociates.com/, Space NK, Liberty and Fortnum & Mason.

In these winter months our skin needs a little bit of extra help to keep it soft and radiant and to stave off the dullness and dry patches. Origins have it covered. They make a wealth of body and face skincare products designed to tackle all levels of care and this post is just a little peek at a few of the options available.

Firstly the Origins Gloomaway Grapefruit Bath Bar:

Gloriously grapefruity and super creamy and lathery. Just beautiful and uplifting and definitely helps to banish the winter blues!
A Perfect World, Creamy Body Cleanser with White Tea

This is really beautiful. Extremely rich and very lathery, the smallest bit goes a very long way. It smells fruity at first but there’s real tang of something which I assume is the tea, it’s really luxurious and incredibly moisturising. £20 for 200ml.
Precipitation Extra Continuous Moisture Recovery for Very Dry Skin
Oh good lord this stuff is immense, Very very rich. Full of super moisturising ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, sunflower, soybean oil, ginseng oils, aloe, murumuru butter, mango butter ad a fair few more. It’s so great I’ve been using it on my daughter’s eczema (although very definitely not on open wounds) and I’ve been using it on my dry calves like it is going out of fashion. The smell is also out of this world again, its grapefruit based. £26 for 200ml but a little goes a very long way.
At this point I must give an honourable mention to the Origins All-purpose High-elevation Cream I reviewed it HERE and it still can’t be beaten for elbows and extra stubborn dry patches.
Lastly there’s the Never A Dull Moment facial exfoliator
Well, my first thoughts on this were that it wasn’t scrubby enough for me, but then I do like my scubs to be at the more brutal end of the spectrum. However, this is a daily product, or at least, thats how I’ve been using it, and perhaps brutal might be a bit much for daily use, but I also note, whilst referring to the details for this post, that for a more exfoliating effect you can leave it on your skin for a couple of minutes before washing off so I will definitely be trying that. It does a fantastic job of cleansing my skin and when I hop out of the shower my skin is clean and bright and fresh. It’s £23 for 125ml but again, as with all of these products, a little goes a long way, in fact the first time I used it, I used far far too much, I had to use about a 6th of what I’d put on my hand for future uses.
So thats all the products Origins sent me, and they all have their merits, some more than others, but I’ve been having a good nosey around the Origins site and I see there are so many more products for winter skin, I’ve got my eye on every single Ginger thing on the site. If I’d have been more organised, some of them would have been on my Christmas list!
Anyway, lovely quality products, and the moisturisers are especially recommended if your skin is very dry.
I’m interested in exploring the brand further, so please if you have any Origins recommendations, let me know!
Aromatherapy Associates Skincare ReviewMonths ago, and I do mean months I was kindly set Aromatherapy Associates Purifying Facial Scrub and Orange Flower Mattifying Moisturiser to try out. Well actually, they were sent for my husband to use but I thought I’d use it myself. So I’ve been waiting and waiting for Graham to do his review for me, but I can wait no longer, I’ll do it myself!
So first up, the Purifying Facial Scrub. At £19.50 it’s not the cheap option but one this for sure, with Aromatherapy Associates quality is assured. The scrub is desgined to deep cleanse and help balanc the skin’s own oils.
The ingredients include Kaolin Clay for cleansing, jojoba beads that won’t scratch the skin and beak down with massaging into the skin. Corn Cob Granules to exfoliate, Orange Flower Water to soothe and balance, Petitgrain has antiseptic properties and Gernatium  is mildy astringent.
Aromatherapy Associates Skincare ReviewTo use, you mix with warm water, massage over the face and neck and rinse off, two or three times a week. Well my first observation is that whilst the packagaing is beautiful and stylish, the mask is so thick it’s really quite hard to squeeze out of the tube. The less product there is in there, the harder it is to get out!  Anyway, the product. I have mixed feelings about it.  It smells lovely, as everything this brand ever makes does and without question it leaves my skin feeling very clean and not tight  at all. So as a cleansing treatment its great, but for me it’s simply not scrubby enough. It’s rich and creamy and thick and luxurious and it rubs into my face nicely, but I can barely feel scrubbing, it is there, but I like to be really exfoliated, it’s just a personal preference. If you’re looking for a gentle exfoliator this is probably just the product, or possibly even if you have sensitive skin. Put it this way, I love Lush’s Ocean Salt which is essentially a pot of salt so by comparison this feels tame. Having said that, I’ve been using it twice a week anyway for the cleansing properties and my skin certainly feels fantastic after use.  I would recommend this to anyone looking for a gentle, deep cleansing  exfoliator.
Next up, the Orange Flower Mattifying Moisturiser. £40 for 50ml. Again, beautiful ingredients, Neroli for skin renewal, Ylang Ylang for balancing, Rice Extracts for moisturising, Aloe Vera for hydrating, Jojoba Oil helps to dissolve hardened sebum and  enhances skin condition and Evening Primrose Oil for conditioning, softening and smoothing.  This is for morning and evening use and is designed for combination, oily or problem skin and its a great primer.
I don’t have especially oily skin but I have to say I still noticed considerably less shine by the middle of the day which is when I start to look ‘glowy’. It’s not quite the right product for me, and as I say I was sent this primarily for my husband to use and he says that it dramatically improved the shine on his forehead, his problem is that never having had a skincare routine, he struggles to remember to use products on a daily basis, He does however highly recommend this moisturiser for controlling shine.
As I have combination skin that is occasionally oily but also occasionally dry, it’s just not quite the right product for me, especially I like my products to contain SPF and be specifically for anti aging, but if you are oily, this could be the product for you.
Both products available from http://www.aromatherapyassociates.com/

If you’re looking for secret santa ideas or stocking fillers then you can’t go wrong with Dirty Works products. Pocket friendly prices and exclusive to Sainsbury’s which means you can chuck them in your trolley while doing the weekly shop. Handy!

I just wanted to show you a couple of the items I was sent for review purposes.

First up the Leave the Bags Behind Eye Mask. This is your standard eye mask, full of beads (normally these have gel?). Anyway, keep it in the fridge, and when your eyes need de-puffing then pop this on and leave it to work for a few minutes. I don’t know how great these things are at depuffing but I like to have them chilling in the fridge because they are great for migraines! A bargainous £2.99 and a perfect stocking filler.

Please forgive the stock photo, once again I rushed to use it before I remembered to take pics. Anyway, this is the Buff Your Stuff Body Scrub. Its a nice refreshing light scent. A shower gel consistency with plenty of scrubby bits it does a decent job. I personally prefer more scrubby particles and less gel, but I think this kind of formula is popular and as I said, it does a decent job of scrubbing, my skin was left feeling smooth and soft. I’d be more than happy to get this in my stocking. £3.99.

I’ll definitely be having a look at the rest of the range when I’m in Sainsbury’s tomorrow.

*Disclosure – PR Sample *

15. 02. 2010

Now if you’ve been following me since the beginning you’ll have read my rave about Enchanted products and if you didn’t then I urge you to read it now. HERE

I love this stuff but it wasn’t especially easy to get hold of.  I’m really pleased to tell you that as of yesterday Sarah has her website up and running at www.enchantedbath.co.uk/

I’ve not a lot to add to my initial raving reviews, except to say there’s a scent for everyone whether its fruity, foodie, spicy. I’m going for Banana Drama and Jacob from the Twilight collection (warm and mildly spicy – beautiful aromatic spices blended with black peppercorns, ginger, cinnamon and a woody amber base).

The other thing to add is the bath cremes can be used for shaving, at the time of my review I hadn’t tried this but I have since. It didn’t work too well for my armpits, the shave was nice and smooth but my armpits were quite irritated the next day but it was fabulous on my legs. Highly recommended.

I suffer with keratosis pilaris on my upper arms (tiny lumps and bumps) and they’ve never been so smooth. So give her a try, the products not only smell fabulous but they work!

09. 12. 2009

Well I love a good scrub. I’m pretty much obsessed with body scrubs. I love the Lush solid ones but recently managed to acquire some Isle of Eden scrubs. They are lovely, lovely scrubby foaming goodness in a huge variety of scents. These are the ones I have

Thats Cranberry loves Lime loves Strawberry, Carnival of Outrageous Lemons and Pink Sugar Citrus Chiffon Cake. All are beautiful and get the Graham and Lola seal of approval. Isle of Eden though, lovely as they are, they are based in the states and shipping is costly so I was delighted to learn about Enchanted. There’s no website as yet but I know Sarah is working on it and she’s working hard on her own and I think is hoping to be on Dragon’s Den next year. She does phenomenally well selling via the Lush international forum and in her shop on Little Lost Lushies (I’m fairly sure you need to be a member to see content on the latter.

Anyway, she specialises in perfumes, scrubs, lotions and bath creams in a variety of gorgeous scents. Excellent customer service, she originally sent me four generous samples to have a try before I bought. The samples I received were Blood Bath scrub, I can’t find the full description for this but it was a sweet berry scent, Creme Brulee Scrub – A rich, sweet vanilla & caramel, which was absolutely divine if you like sweet foodie scents, Tropical Volcano Scrub – A huge burst of fruity fizzy fragrance. Coconut, banana, papaya, mango blended with nectarine, red apple, peach, plums, pears, and raspberries, followed by a burst of mandarin orange, pineapple, lemon, tangerine and light musk. I don’t like tropical fruit scents so it wasn’t my favourite, still used it all up. Last sample was SubLime Bath Creme which I was keen to use as I’ve never tried a creme. First I tried rubbing a small amount into my skin but didn’t get any lather so then tried rubbing a bit onto a sponge (well actually one of those meshy thingy things) and hey presto, lots of lovely bubbles to wash with. Gorgeous scent which Sarah describes as – I have waited so long to bring this to you, but it had to be be perfect and now it is. This has to be my absolute favourite, I adore it and I am not a huge fan of lime scents. So lime lovers are going to love it and if you are not a fan of citrus I strongly recommend you try it anyway, you are going to love it too. Warm sugar cookies topped with ooey gooey marshmallows, smooth caramel and a heavy twist of sugared lime. This one is truely subLIME. Anyway having discovered I was left with satin soft upper arms (i get Keratosis pilaris on my arms so anything that clears that up is nothing short of a miracle) I thought I’d better make an order for full sizes.

After a great deal of thought I wanted two sets of Bath Cream, Body Scrub and Dry Body Oil. One in Bath Pixie – Very similar to IOE Bath Fairy. A black cherry and creme brulee base with fluffy marshmallows, swirled with fruity sugar, rich berries and cream and the other in Parma Violet Fairy Cakes: A new spin on the popular Parma Violet fragrance. Sweet fluffy fairy cakes smothered with Parma Violet frosting.

The scrubs and cream were £6 each (normally £7) and the oil was £7.50. They took three weeks to arrive (it’s a very hectic time of year for a one man home business) and when they arrived they were nice packed with a little bag of chocolate santas.

So the products, the Parma Violet Fairy Cakes. At first all I could smell was marzipan but as my nose got used to it I could detect a sweetness and a hint of violet and lots of cake. The bath cream was fab, the scrub was perfect. I used the oil when I got out of the bath and dried and the smell was so overpowering as I spritzed in the tiny bathroom it made me cough, but when I left the bathroom I smelled absolutely divine, my skin was super soft. In bed that night I just kept sniffing myself and I smelled all the way through the next day. Fabulous products and scent.

The Bath Pixie stuff, well the same really, I wasn’t as in love with the scent as I thought I’d be but it’s nice enough, but as for what the products do for my skin, its nothing short of a miracle and far surpasses my beloved Lush. I think Sarah will be getting more of my money in future and I’ll definitely be buying the perfume to match the Parma Violet Fairy Cakes. I can’t wait.

Some pics, scuse the fact that they are used. Sorry, I couldn’t wait!