Just Charlie G

This is it. Absolute perfection in terms of hair products that really suit my hair and I have to say as soon as I saw the press release I suspected it might be and it’s nice to be right.

label.m Therapy Age-Defying

The range is designed to counter the five signs of hair ageing. Coarseness, thinness, dryness, weakness and dullness. All of those are issues I with my hair. It’s also worth noting that whilst our hair ages along with the rest of, we can accelerate the decline of our follicles with environmental factors, thermal factors and of course chemically-assisted factors and so you might only be 20 but you could have the hair of a 60 year old so don’t go thinking this range is just for us old fogies…

The science behind the range is the patent pending Rejuven-8 Complex, created only for label.m, it uses eight of the most technologically active anti-ageing ingredients to leave hair strong, replenished and youthful.

Those ingredients are White Caviar, European Sweet Chestnut, African Baobab Tree, Iron Rose Crystal, Clycolic Acid  and Palm Sugars, Danish Hyaluronic Acid and French Lupine Lipo-peptides. I’m not going to go into the qualities of each as I can see you all glazing over already!

There are four products in the range Therapy Age-Defying Shampoo (200ml £13.75), Therapy Age-Defying Conditioner (150ml/£16.50) Therapy Age Defying Protein Cream (50ml/£17.50) and Therapy Age-Defying Recovery Mask (120ml/£17.50).

label.m Therapy Age-Defying

I’ve been using the entire range exclusively for about three weeks now and am so in love it’s ridiculous. My hair is soft, smooth, clean and it smells incredible. I mean so incredible I’ve been asked twice what perfume I’m wearing…. it’s that good.

I use the shampoo every other day, and then the alternate the Recovery Mask and the Conditioner. I use the Protein Cream after every single wash.

The shampoo is gorgeous but I have had a slight problem with my bottle, the pump stopped working after about three uses, making it not quite so convenient to use, but product wise, its fab, the conditioner is also excellent. The recovery mask is wonderful although the instructions are a little vague and I had to take to Twitter to ask people  what they would do. It simply states to use it 2-3 times a week, leave for up to five minutes… I had no idea whether that was supposed to be on wet hair, or as a separate treatment on dry hair or what…but I settled in the end for applying to wet hair after washing. Seems to work just fine and it’s probably just me being a bit thick. The Protein Cream is also wonderful, it’s a lightweight serum basically to help keep the dreaded frizz at bay (and with recent weather it’s been having to work rather hard but has been effective!).

So I just wanted to show you my hair… this is my hair left to dry naturally before I was using this range. Frizzy, fly away, messy.

label.m Therapy Age-Defying

And this is my hair two weeks after starting to use this range.This is naturally dried, but I have applied the Protein Cream Serum.

label.m Therapy Age-Defying

 

label.m Therapy Age-Defying

Soft, shiny, frizz free, smells delicious, just an amazing range.

I will 100% be purchasing when my samples run out, and I may have to buy the shampoo sooner because the broken bottle is really annoying. Otherwise, massive massive thumbs up for this life changing range.

Available from Toni&Guy Salons, Essensuals, label.m salons and www.labelm.com.

*Disclosure – PR Samples*

Molton Brown Vita B3 Eye Concentrate

I’m a huge huge fan of Molton Brown Skincare after I tried out some of the range they sent to me. I still use it daily and my skin is still loving it (although I still use other brands in combination with the Molton Brown) but now I’ve added the Vita B3 Eye Concentrate to my routine and am delighted that it lives up to my expectations.

Molton Brown Vita B3 Eye Concentrate

I have to admit I’d slacked a bit on my eye care recently and I had noticed things starting to look a bit wrinkly in that department, particularly when I was sorting out photographs for blog posts. I noticed an immediate improvement with this stuff.

15ml is £45, so its not a cheap product but there are some things I think are worth every penny and this is one of them.

Ingredients include Vitamin B3 and ash bark complex to combat dark shadows and puffiness along with a Tetra-peptide complex to help reduce the appearance of fine lines. I’m not going to profess to know what that is, only that it seems to do a great job.

An application in the morning immediately banishes shadows and puffiness and I swear that as time has gone on I’ve seen a definite decrease in fine lines and wrinkles.

A lovely light weight gel serum that when the weather was hot I kept in the fridge for extra cooling benefits.  So far, this range can do no wrong for my skin at least.

http://www.moltonbrown.co.uk/

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

Ojon Damage Reverse Instant Restorative Hair Serum

I could quite easily have made this a pictures only blog post. Or pictures and a sentence…”buy this now” covers it, but for you lovely readers, I’ll give you a little bit of detail about the product and then let the pictures at the end do the talking.

The Damage Reverse Instant Restorative Hair Serum, repairs and restores hair as it tames your frizz and flyaway hair. Lovely bottle with a dropper so you can carefully measure out your two drops. You only need two drops as this is highly concentrated, a little goes a long long way. It restores shine and softness to dull and damaged hair and whilst I don’t really know how to measure whether my hair is less damaged or not but its certainly shiny, supple and frizz free when I use this. I cannot believe that two tiny drops is enough to cope with my (very) thick hair, but it is!

I’d go so far as to say this is the best serum I’ve ever used on my hair. And I’ve tried and reviewed a few on the blog, this beats them all. It’s going to last forever too.

To use, you just apply your two drops to your damp or dry hair and that’s it. I generally apply after a shower to my towel dried hair and then add another drop to my finished style, and then on day two I will add another drop. And then I was my hair at the end of day two. It’s brilliant. £22 for 50ml

I’m not going to say any more, I’ll just leave you with some pictures.

Ojon Damage Reverse Instant Restorative Hair Serum
Ojon Damage Reverse Instant Restorative Hair Serum
Ojon Damage Reverse Instant Restorative Hair Serum
Ojon Damage Reverse Instant Restorative Hair Serum
Ojon Damage Reverse Instant Restorative Hair Serum

So you may remember this post where I was talking about my big skincare overhaul. Well I’m now using all the products and I’ll do a full report back in a few weeks when I have a better idea of how it’s all working out for me. But the one thing I can do a review of is the Decleor Source D’Eclat – 10 Days Radiance Powder Cure.

Decleor Source D'Eclat - 10 Days Radiance Powder Cure

Ok so this little bottle of 10ml will set you back £22.50 for 10 days worth of product (more on that later). What it is, is a blend of essential oils. In the top of the bottle above is a Vitamin C powder, and when you depress the lid the powder falls into the oils, you give a little mix and apply daily for ten days (after which the product is no use and past it’s use by). It’s intended to give a radiance boost and promises a revitalised and translucent complexion in just 10 days.

Does it work? Well, I have to be honest and just say I find it impossible to tell! That doesn’t mean it’s not worked, it means that when it comes to subtleties I’m not good at spotting them. So I’m going to show you some pictures and you can tell me what you think! I’d love to know. I think I can see a difference although it’s not drastic I don’t think.

So lets look at my skin a couple of weeks ago.

 Decleor Source D'Eclat - 10 Days Radiance Powder Cure
Decleor Source D'Eclat - 10 Days Radiance Powder Cure
Decleor Source D'Eclat - 10 Days Radiance Powder Cure

And day 11. After using the Source D’Eclat for the full 10 days. Excuse the red nose… I caught the sun a bit on holiday.

Decleor Source D'Eclat - 10 Days Radiance Powder Cure
Decleor Source D'Eclat - 10 Days Radiance Powder Cure
Decleor Source D'Eclat - 10 Days Radiance Powder Cure

So what do you think? Looking at the pictures now actually and comparing the two sets, I think I can see a difference actually, quite a bit of one, sadly, my red nose is detracting from the effect a little 😉 But I think I definitely see a bit more glow and shine (of the good sort) to my skin.

So yes, I do think this product is pretty good! But I do have a gripe. You get 10ml in the bottle. And you pay £22.50 for it. What I actually used in the ten days was approximately 4ml. So I have a bottle, more than half full that I have to just throw away as you can’t use it past the 10 days. What an incredible waste! Whilst I do rate the product, unless you have a MASSIVE (and I do mean massive) face, no one is going to use more than half the bottle. So why sell such a big quantity? I’d rather pay £12 for 5ml and not have to throw most of it away at the end.

Still, this is well worth buying periodically and using the run up to a special occasion for example, like a wedding or just when your skin is looking dull and tired, but it’s awfully wasteful. A quick scour of reviews on the net confirm most reviewers have found the same.

Nice product though and one I’ll definitely bear in mind for the future.

I’m just going to start off by summarising. If your skin tone is uneven, you need this product. It is gobsmackingly amazing.  Buy it.

Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator

Ok, now if you’ve decided to read on then I’ll tell you a bit more about this wonder product.

Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator is an oil free serum to instantly illuminate, but theres more. This isn’t an ordinary highlighter, this also works to even skin tone by working on dark spots, redness and discolouration.

Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator

On application it blurs imperfections, neutralises redness and discolouration and illuminates, and over time it starts to actually reduce dark spots, help keep your skin immperfection free with vitamin E and antioxidants and it also contains anti irritants to miniminse visible irritation that causes redness and blotchiness.

In tests, 79% of women saw an immediate improvement in uneven skin tone and after two weeks 84% of women agreed that their skin appeared more even toned. Having used the product for a month I’m not surprised by these claims at all. Its amazing. It’s also a lovely scent, floral citrus apparently, I mainly get the citrus.

I started out using this product morning and night and noticed a great improvement, but have now switched to using this mornings only so that I can continue using my Advance Night Repair at night.

Anyway, some pictures. Some horrifc pictures of me without make up but it’s the only way to try and demonstrate the effects.

Before. I’d particularly like to draw attention to the yellow circles under my eyes. Well, I wouldn’t really but you know what I mean…

Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator
And after:
Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator

And more. Before:

Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator
And After.
Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator
 I’m sorry the photo’s don’t show the changes as well as I’d like but just trust me, this stuff is fab.
30ml is £46
50ml is £62
Available from all Estee Lauder counters now, and http://www.esteelauder.co.uk/.
Disclaimer – PR Sample

A while ago I was sent  a couple of the items from the newly launched bareMinerals skincare range and although I find the brand quite hit and miss I was really excited to try this range as it sounded so innovative to me. It’s all to do with soil y’see. Yep, soil. minerals in soil are goood so when extracted they can be used in skincare which is apparently capable of “transformational skin-renewing benefits”. The entire range contains this 100% pure RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex  and claims to deliver faster cell turnover, visibly smaller pores, increased luminosity and softer, smoother, younger looking skin. You can see why I was so keen to try it.

I was sent two items, the Deep Cleansing Foam and the fascinating sounding Pure Transformation Night Treatment.

bare minerals pore transformation  night treatment

I love love love the packaging design, it’s simple, pretty and effective.

Anyway, starting off with the Deep Cleansing Foam. £15 for 119g. Really rich cleanser. You use a pearl size amount and when you add water it foams, just massage on and rinse off. Does a fab job, leaves my skin absolutely clean but not squeaky which I despise in a cleanser. Squeaky clean = not good. My skin feels soft after use and all traces of make up are gone. Sometimes I get out of the shower with panda eyes when a cleanser doesn’t really cut the mustard, but thats simply not the case with this stuff, I love it.

Then we have the Pure Transformation Night Treatment (£45). Honestly this sounded so innovative I couldn’t wait to try it out.

A night time treatment to replenish your skin for a better skin tone, reduces pores, increases firmness and improves elasticity. Or so it says.

Essentially this product goes on like a mineral powder foundation. It comes in a great pot with the kabuki style brush in the lid, you shake a bit of product out, dip your brush, tap off the excess then buff onto your skin. In fact this stuff is so much like foundation that it comes in four hues, clear, light, medium and tan. And this is where it all started to go wrong for me. I received Medium. It looks like a pot of foundation. It really does. Look!

bareMinerals Pure Transformation Night Treatment

Problem 1. Medium gives me a tango face. I tried not to worry about it, after all I was only going to bed, who cares, but I did care. Orange face is never good, even in the dark. I’d probably have been happier with the clear.
Problem 2. You apply it and it looks like foundation. It does not feel like a good thing to be doing before bed and I just haven’t been able to get past the fact that I’m caking on what feels like powder foundation before bed. My skin doesn’t feel comfortable.
Problem 3. After three days of use I got spots. Really bad spots. Now I have to be honest and say that it was just prior to my time of the month and not to do with the product at all as I always get spots then but because of the colour and nature of the product I simply couldn’t get past the idea that wearing make up to bed was a very bad idea. I know it’s not make up… but it looks like it, it feels like it, must be giving me spots.

I used it for a week and then I have to confess I gave up. I just couldn’t get past the weirdness of the whole experience at all! I will say that I think I definitely did notice my pores appearing smaller in the mornings and that until the spots appeared and in the areas there weren’t spots my skin was looking pretty good!

I just think that this product isn’t for me and that I’m more of a traditionalist and should stick to serums. Disappointing really as I was so excited about this. I just had a total mental block about it sadly. Couldn’t handle it. But you know, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this was miraculous for some people because as I say, within a short period of time I’m sure I was noticing some positive effects. It’s not cheap though. Not cheap at all…

The cleanser is so lovely thought it wouldn’t put me off trying other products in the range like the eye cream and the moisturiser. It was purely the powder I took issue with. Definitely check out the cleanser if you like a good foaming one though!

The range is out now from all bareMinerals counters and http://www.selfridges.com/

Balance Active Formula Skincare

Back in February I started using a couple of items from the brand new Balance Active Formula range. I think I posted on the launch date and I’ve been using it ever since. The range makes some incredibly bold claims so I was really looking forward to seeing if it lived up to the claims made.

The items I was sent were the Wrinkle-freeze Serum and  the Instant Effect Wrinkle Filler.

So I’ll start by talking about the Wrinkle-freeze Serum. This is a very light, serum designed to reduce the look of wrinkles. You can use this either on specific areas or simply all over and it’s the latter I’ve been doing for the last couple of months. In self assessment 70% of women noticed a reduction in forehead wrinkles and 72% of the testers thought that expression lines were smoother and plumped out. So basically this claims to do the same thing as several as my favourite products, namely the Estee Lauder Advance Night Repair and the Clinique Laser Focus.

Well, this didn’t touch my forehead wrinkles sadly. But then there’s only one product that does help with my forehead, nothing else does, but generally speaking I feel it helped to minimise the very finest of my lines and I definitely felt my skin was looking plumper. I can’t see me ditching my beloved products for these because they don’t have the same effect my usual products, there is an effect and it is decent, but it just isn’t effective enough to deal with my deeper lines. I would think if your skin is fairly young and small fine lines is your problem rather than the great ravines I have this would be fab.

The other product I received was the Instant Effect Wrinkle Filler. Designed to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, it’s a filler basically. Again, I was comparing really to my staple product the Estee Lauder Perfectionist CP+.  Really the results were the same, it worked a treat on my fine lines (like those under my eyes) but doesn’t touch anything deeper, like my forehead.

These products are really nice, they are not oily at all and leave no residue at all on your skin. I highly recommend for anyone who is just starting to notice the appearance of fine lines because on these they work an absolute treat. As I say, if you are younger and need less help then go for it. The most fantastic thing about these products is the price.  for £29.99 you get a five piece set, full sizes, which include these two products, a day cream, night cream and an eye cream. Which makes it competitive. There are pros and cons, the price I feel is the evidence that you’re not getting quite the same quality of products of the £40-£50 serums, but these products DO work and the price is affordable. This is why I recommend these for younger skins, save your money and get the more high-end brands when you really start getting wrinkles!

Lastly I want to show you a photo of me make-up free after using the products which demonstrates what I’m saying really well. Please forgive me for making you look at this. haha! Enlarge at your peril!

You’ll see that under my eyes looks relatively and fantastically line free which I think is really impressive but a close look at my forehead will show you that my lines are all still present and (in)correct.

So I definitely recommend checking this range out if the higher end products are out of your price range and as I say, you just need some help with fine lines!
The price is great, you can’t go wrong, buy it here!

Shu Uemura Silk Oil - Camellia Smoothing Fluid
Until very recently I had absolutely no idea Shu Uemura had a hair care range, but then, the brand in general is fairly new to me and I only own a couple of items and now this, the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Silk Oil – Camellia Smoothing Fluid.

It’s a lightweight serum used in the same way most serums are, applied to towel dried hair before styling, or to your finished style. Applied to damp hair this gives you light styling control and heat protection and applied to dry hair this tames the frizzies and adds a lovely sheen to your hair.

It’s incredibly easy to use, but you do have to be careful, its also easy to use too much. One pump is more than enough for my nearly shoulder length hair.

In all honesty I’d say its styling uses are very light indeed, it doesn’t seem to hold my style any more than no product all does but then that’s no bad thing for me since I don’t use styling products. I’m more than happy with the heat protection offered and it does a great job of flattening out those baby hairs I get that poke up along my parting, without making it look greasy, and the shine it gives my hair is great. A very nice product.

This product retails in most places for £22 but you can find online at http://www.activebeauty.co.uk/ for a bargain £14.95. That’s quite a saving! You’ll find the rest of the Shu Uemura hair range there too, along with many other ranges with great discounts.

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!

Liz Earle Superskin Bust Treatment

I’ve been breastfeeding for more years than I care to think about and now my time doing it is coming to an end. There are fairly obvious pros and cons to this state of affairs. The pros (when it happens) are that I’ll be able to drink again and goodbye saggy nursing bras and hello to not being mauled in the night any more, well not by a baby at least. Cons, well the state of my bust isn’t quite what it was. When I got pregnant my bust size increased dramatically and stayed that way for the last four years. Now things are on the wane my size is shrinking and so things are not as um… plump and there is um a bit of sagging and definitely there are some stretch marks. Nice.

Anyway, when I was sent the Superskin Bust Treatment to try out I could have jumped for joy. I’ve loved all the Superskin products I’ve tried so far so was looking forward to trying this out. It claims to plump and smooth the skin around your neck and bust along with improving elasticity. It’s a blend of all sorts of ingredients, antioxidants, omega-3, Neroli, Borage and green algae amongst other things.

Firstly, it smells absolutely gorgeous. Really rich and I’d say it’s reminscent of incense. You warm a couple of pumps in your hands, massage it in, and sweep the remnants on your hands up over your chest and neck once a day. It’s £26 for 50ml which isnt as expensive as I thought it was going to be, I think the Superskin scent really smells expensive.

Does it work? Well, yes I think it does. I think my stretch marks have faded and I really feel the skin feels tighter. It hasn’t made me any less saggy, but realistically, could any cream do that? But yes, definitely skin seems improved. I’ve been using for a couple of weeks so perhaps I’ve not given it long enough and if I get any further changes I will certainly report back. Regardless, I’m pleased with the results and would definitely recommend it. At the very least it feels really nice to be looking after a part of my body that is normally neglected and regularly takes a beating! So thank you Liz Earle for another lovely product.