Just Charlie G

Gosh, do you remember when micellar waters first reached the UK? Bioderma was absolutely the one to have but it was hard to find for a while. Now of course lots of brands offer micellar water cleansers but for many the original and best will always be Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Cleansing Water. I reviewed it back in 2011 and it’s been a staple on and off ever since. Strangely though I never really looked further into Bioderma products. I’m certainly aware that French Pharmaceutical skin care lines are known to be the best out there and given the enduring popularity of Bioderma Sensibio H20 Cleansing Water, I know that Bioderma are top of the game. With that in mind it’s been a treat to try out Bioderma Sensibio Mild Cleansing Foaming Gel and Hydrabio H20 Micelle Solution.BiodermaStarting with the Hydrabio H20 Micelle Solution.  This alcohol free cleansing water is designed for those of us with sensitive skin and/or dehydration (that’ll be me then). To use, you simply soak a cotton pad with the solution and wipe away impurities and dirt, twice a day. Active ingredients treat congestion and your skin is left comfortable, clean, smooth and hydrated. And I really like it. Although it’s perfectly suitable for removing make up, I wear so much make up I have trust issues, so my preferred way of using this is to remove my makeup with it, then follow up with a face wash. I’m not sure it’s necessary but that’s what I like. Worth also mentioning that if you have sensitive eye (mine are occasionally), this won’t irritate them, it’s incredibly gentle.

Which leads me neatly on to the Bioderma Sensibio Mild Cleansing Foaming Gel. I have been following up the Micelle Solution with this Foaming Gel, and again I’m not sure it’s totally necessary to use both. There have been times where I’ve been really too tired to double cleanse and have just used this, and I have found this removes every last trace of make up with ease. I know there is a school of thought that foaming products aren’t great for the skin, but seriously, I suffer with dryness often when I use the wrong products and I’ve not had a hint of a problem with this cleanser. I’m always going to have skin that leans on the dry side, but I’ve not noticed additional effects. After use, over quite an extended period (two months approx), my skin was left smooth, clean and calm.  A great product and in fact I’ve bought a bottle for Chloe after she tried mine out. She’s ten but starting to get blackheads and spots on her nose, but also suffers with eczema, this has been working a treat for her and as she gets a bit older I will look further into Bioderma products for her delicate skin.

I would recommend both of these products to anyone, but in particular if you suffer dryness and or sensitive skin, these products work really well to leave your skin feeling clean but without that tight dry feeling you can sometimes get after cleansing.

Bioderma Sensibio Mild Cleansing Foaming Gel is £10.50 for 200ml and the Hydrabio H20 Micelle Solution is £5.10 for 100ml or £10.80 for 250ml.

You can find more information on all Bioderma Products on their website  and I do really like Escentual as a stockist but you can also find Bioderma products at Feel Unique and Boots.

*Products received free of charge for review purposes

 

First of all, Happy Bank Holiday weekend. I must apologise for the long break between posts. The Easter Holidays, appointments and a set of extraordinarily long nails have hampered my posting of late. As it is, I’ve filed my nails down and they are still too long, this is going to take some editing when I’ve finished! So, today I’m reviewing the DHC Q10 Mask.

DHC Q10 Mask Believe it or not this is my first experience with a sheet mask so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but let me just say it caused both my kids and husband to laugh at me. A lot.

The Q10 mask is a coQ10 firming sheet mask, and for the uninitiated coQ10 stands for Coenzyme Q10. CoQ10 is a coenzyme that appears naturally in cells in the body, its an antioxidant and the latest research suggests that applying to the skin means it can help the body fight the damaging effects of free radicals as well as have skin soothing effects.

The sheet mask is enriched with the coQ10 and also include sodium hyaluronate and collagen to help maintain the skins natural moisture as well as create a protective barrier to create a softer, smoother complexion.

DHC Q10 Mask

Using this was a novel experience! After cleansing, you unfold the (very wet) mask and place over your face. I found it a little bit fiddly to get it in the best position to cover most bits of my face but once I’d finished taking photos of myself for this blog post and lay down on the sofa, I was able to get a good coverage and relax (as best I could with my family laughing at me) for 20 minutes.DHC Q10 Mask

Although it felt very wet, it was really comfortable on my skin and it’s got a lovely fresh scent, not too overpowering, just nice. Once your twenty minutes are up, you can press any excess fluid into your skin and follow up with your usual skincare. I found my skin didn’t feel sticky or unpleasant after use and like that you just carry on with the rest of your regime. Words can’t express how lovely my skin felt after this. So soft and smooth, plumped out and lovely. The effects don’t last for ages but as part of your regular routine and as a pick me up, or before special events, this is a great little treat for your skin.

My absolute top tip though is for maximum relaxation and pampering effects, either make sure you are home alone, or lock yourself in the bathroom!

The Q10 mask is £4.50 for one sheet and available from the DHC website.

*product provided free of charge for review purposes.

People who have been with me since this blog started will know that my skin has been an ongoing battle for a long time. Plagued with dryness and spots, as well as natural ageing and reactive skin, has meant finding suitable skincare has been not easy. Products designed for spots tend to aggravate my dryness while products for dry skin nearly always break me out. It’s frustrating! There have been several rave reviews of brands/products over the years all of which still stand, but for some reason I tend to find that after a while (often months) everything goes back to normal (bad). I have no idea why that is, but it means the search is only ever over temporarily.

That’s why I am blogging today with some hesitance! But I’m here to share my love for the Body Shop Vitamin E Range. The Vitamin E range is extensive and I certainly don’t have all the products in the line, but I’ve added the products I am using, one at a time, slowly so I can see what suits me and what doesn’t.

The Body Shop Vitamin EThe Vitamin E range can  help to protect against pollution and is great for premature ageing. What I really love about it is that it seems to be deeply moisturising, without being too rich for my skin. Quick reviews of all the items I have, below

Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash  (£7.50 – 125ml) – This is brilliant stuff. I heard that foaming cleansers dry out your skin but I don’t think this one does. A little goes a long way and has no issues at all removing my make up. It’s lightly foaming, feels rich and creamy and doesn’t leave my face feeling tight and dry. Win!

Vitamin E Hydrating Toner (£7.50 – 250ml) –  Alcohol free toner that leaves my skin feeling ready to go!  Has a slightly thicker than water texture, as if it’s a gel maybe. I apply this twice a day religiously. Lovely stuff and a brilliant price. Actually the whole range is!

Vitamin E Aqua Boost Essence Lotion (£10 – 160ml) – This was my latest purchase and I wasn’t sure what it was for and I’m still not. I love it anyway because it just slots into my routine. Again this is not watery, like a traditional toner, it’s slightly thicker than the Hydrating Toner and I’d describe it as a serum/gel. You add a couple of drops to your hand and pat into your skin after toner, before moisturiser. It absorb very quickly, leaving no residue on the skin and I think just adds another layer of moisture and protection against free radicals.

Vitamin E Intense Moisture Serum (£14 – 30ml) – It’s been a long time since I’ve used a serum. I found nearly everything I tried in the past caused me to break out, either too rich or too packed full of silicones. This one is so light in texture, it leaves my skin feeling amazing after application and isn’t at all greasy.

Vitamin E Overnight Serum in Oil (£16 – 28ml) – This is the product I was most nervous about using, my spot prone skin doesn’t get on well with oils, but I’m pleased to say I’ve had no problems with this at all! I use four drops massaged into my skin every night before bed and wake up to soft moisturised skin.

Vitamin E Moisture Cream (£13 – 50ml) – Out of all the products I have, this is the one I think of as my hero product. I use it daily, morning and evening, after all the other products and I think it works like a charm, Containing not only vitamin E but also hyaluronic acid this is the product that I really think stamps out my dryness. If feels so moisturising, but not at all rich, it is light and smooths in easily and quickly without leaving residue on my face. All the other products help my skin be plumper, and less dry, this is the one that the keeps it this way

Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream (£14 – 50ml) – This is the one product that doesn’t suit me too well. I kind of knew it wouldn’t be great for me when I bought it, but I was optimistic given my successes with the rest of the range.  It is just too rich for me, and applying all over my face definitely results in me waking up with blemishes, on my chin especially. I have however found it especially useful when my skin is really suffering. Like my nose was after a recent cold. I used this every night afterwards on my nose which was dry and red from constant nose blowing, and this really soothed and helped.

Vitamin E Refreshing Eyes Cube (£9.50 – 4g) – The name of this one annoys me because it’s not a cube! I know it’s supposed to be a play on Ice Cube, but still! Leaving that aside, eye cream is another product I’ve avoided for a while after two huge break outs under my eyes from creams that were too rich. Annoying because I know the skin around my eyes looks and feels so much better and less wrinkly when I use it. This one is fab! A twist up stick of cooling cream, although I’d describe it more as a balm, it glides on and cools. I use it morning and night and have had no issues so far. It’s worth mentioning that this has a tiny amount of sparkle, I find it very hard to spot, so you don’t need to worry about glittery eyes, but it’s worth knowing it’s there! My under eyes definitely feel plumper and smoother.

Finally, and not pictured is the Vitamin E Hydrating Face Mist (£10 for 100ml). I don’t use this Face Mist as part of my skincare routine but instead keep it with my make up and use it as a finishing spray to set everything in place. I’m sure it’ll come into its own in Summer too!

So conclusions:

I read over on British Beauty Blogger that The Body Shop may be up for sale… this will just be terrible new for my face!

Anyway, I wholeheartedly recommend this range, so do head over to The Body Shop website and check it out!

*All Products purchased by me and opinions unbiased!

 

 

 

09. 05. 2016

*Squeeeee*

It is a fact that if you take most things and make them mini they become extra cute. Baby animals for example. And now the Foreo Luna. I’ve blogged about two of the Foreo Luna models previously and you can find my post on the original Foreo Luna here and the Foreo Luna Mini 2 here.

If you’ve read those previous reviews you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of these Foreo sonic cleansers. Hygienic, effective, gentle and generally just all round brilliant these silicone face cleansing tools are used daily by me so I’m delighted to add a new model to my arsenal, the Foreo Luna Play.

Foreo Luna Play  The Foreo Luna Play is based on the full size and mini models, but is tiny, smaller than the palm of my hand. The main differences between this model and the larger sizes are as follows:

foreo luna play foreo luna play

In terms of use the basics are the same, apply your cleansing product to your skin and turn on your Foreo Luna Play, massage your cleanser in using the bristles, rinse away. Rinse your brush and get on with the rest of your day.

Given it’s size, its a little less comfortable to hold I find, but in terms of effectiveness, it cleanses just as well as the larger models.

You may well be thinking that if it’s not rechargeable its a bit useless, but it’s really not. This is an ideal bit of kit for travelling, or if you are cautious about shelling out for a larger model. The Play retails at £29, while the Mini 2 is £99 and the full size Luna is £149 making the Foreo Luna Play ideal for testing the water before investing in the rechargeable models. Plus it’s super cute and available in 7 cute colours!

If you’re yet to try a sonic facial cleansing brush, this is an ideal product to try, it’s more hygienic than nylon bristles, gentler on the skin and more effective at cleansing. Highly recommended!

The Foreo Luna Play retails at £29 and is available from Foreo Online.

*Product received free of charge for review purposes.

Elemental HerbologyWhile I have no doubt that there are new brands cropping up all over the time, its not too often I get to try them out. Elemental Herbology are not actually a new brand, having been established in 2008, but they are new to me. The brand’s area of expertise is using therapeutic levels of plant compounds, herbal extracts, botanical oils, vitamins, minerals, essential oils to create natural skin and body care products that really work. The entire range is based upon the Five Element Theory from traditional Chinese medicine and each product relates to each element, wood, fire, earth, metal and water and Elemental Herbology believe that a balance of all the elements is needed depending on your skin type. With my skin being all over the shop, this concept is one that really appeals to me.

I’ve been trying out three products recently and I’ll start by telling you about the Facial Souffle Overnight Cream from the Moisture Replenish line.

Elemental HerbologyThe product having the word Souffle in its name is very definitely appealing to me! And this beautiful Facial Souffle doesn’t disappoint. Usually with products that promise a lot of hydration I have concerns that they will break me out, but so far so good with this overnight treat. Designed for mature or dry skin (I am both) this overnight cream really moisturises and suits my sensitive skin really well. I wake up with my skin soft and comfortable. It is not a cheap product at £47, but a little goes a long way and I have no doubt this will last quite some time. Do have a look at the reviews on the website, they are really brilliant.

Next up is the Facial Detox Purifying Facial Mask.

Elemental HerbologyThis is a product my chin and nose has been crying out for. My skin is cursed with blemishes, even at the grand age of 41, but what I really struggle with is that the spots are in combination with dry skin and sensitive skin. Often products designed for spots, are far too harsh or drying for me. This beautiful mask is made with Honey, Aloe and Calendula to soothe, Oat Flour and Allantoin to exfoliate gently and Clay to help eliminate the toxins. Its the combination of these, that mean this is helpful for my skin and it allows me to use it all over (instead of just the problem areas) without risking aggravating my dryness. It smells amazing (eucalyptus, cedarwood, lavender and rosemary) and is a pleasure to use. I have some congestion and I have found it helps to bring the bumps out. While it is suitable for my fussy face, if you have more tolerant skin you might find it a bit too gentle for you. For me this is a must have product, but at £38 for 75ml, you’ll want to be sure it suits your skin.

Finally I’ve been trying out Hand Nutrition Intensive Hand and Nail Repair Cream.

Elemental HerbologyI’m a bit of a horror when it comes to hand creams, I have them, I have them everywhere, on my desk, on my bedside table, in my handbag, but I always forget to use them. I don’t get terribly dry hands so I guess that has something to do with why I’m so bad, but I have forced myself to give this a good go and I’m pleased I have. Hand Nutrition is for dry and sun-damaged hands and is rich in Omegas 3, 6 and 9. It smells nice and seems to moisturise well. Since I’ve been crocheting up a storm I do tend to notice when I have dry patches as they snag on my yarn, and in addition, its also important that when I do use a hand cream it absorbs quickly so I can carry on with my work. This cream isn’t the fastest to absorb I’ve ever tried, but it doesn’t take ages either, and it doesn’t leave a residue if I rub it in properly. It stops any snaggy bits of dryness there and then. What more could you ask for? This one is £16.

I’ve been really impressed with the Elemental Herbology products I’ve tried, and keen to explore the range further and see if I can find a routine that would suit my skin for once and for all, my only hesitation with that is the prices are a little higher than I’d like, but for the right products, I’d pay whatever was necessary within reason!

Oh and final comment, I love the beautiful, simple packaging. Its very attractive.

Please do take a look at the Elemental Herbology to see the full range of products and for more information.

*All items received free of charge for review purposes

Foreo Luna Mini 2Delighted to be reviewing the Foreo Luna mini 2 today on the blog. If you’ve been a reader for a long time, you may recall I actually reviewed the full size Foreo Luna quite some time ago. I loved it and actually still use it, although I’ve lapsed slightly and tend not to use it every day. No reason for that, just that I’m terribly slack.

So since the Foreo Luna was launched in the UK the range has expanded (hello toothbrush!!) but today we’re looking at, as I say, the Foreo Luna mini 2.

Foreo Luna Mini 2

The Mini 2 is a hand held device for facial cleansing. It’s made from silicone which cleanses gently, but thoroughly, while being really hygienic as you can clean the device easily.

As well as the Mini, you also get a USB charger and a little instruction booklet. Otherwise that’s it, but what more could you want?!

Foreo Luna Mini 2The mini has eight intensities so you can find the perfect setting for you while the “bristles” are optimised for all skin types. Once you set your intensity, the Luna mini remembers that, so it’ll be still set to the same next time you turn it on.

To use it, dampen your face, apply your cleanser, then turn on your mini and apply all over your face for a minute. As you move around your face the light will flash telling you to move onto the next area of your face, it really couldn’t be simpler. I’d like to go on a rant about this is superior to famous “brush” cleaning systems but I’ll exercise some decorum and just say, it is. Not only is the device more hygienic, but it’s gentler while cleansing extremely thoroughly, you’ll never need to buy a replacement brush and they are incredibly energy efficient (300 uses approximately per charge!).

In terms of difference between this and the full size Luna, the mini doesn’t have the anti ageing side and the bristles differ in layout slight, it is smaller of course (but for my small hands thats a good thing). The full sized Luna comes in various models for different skin types, while the Mini just has one standard model, which is suitable for all.

The Mini bristles have several zones, the general cleansing area at the front, with a precision cleansing zone on the tip for getting around the nose and smaller areas, the bristles on the rear of the device are for deep cleansing, so if oily or spotty areas, use the rear of the device on those.

I think I’ve run through everything you need to know, but the long and the short of it is that I think the Foreo sonic cleansers are the best you can buy, I can’t say a bad thing about them, genuinely. You can use your usual cleansers (I’m currently loving Mac Lightful Cleanser and it works with this beautifully), and what’s more because it’s so hygienic, your whole family can use the same one…not that there’s any chance I’m sharing mine with anyone!

At £99 it is definitely an investment, but they last for years and as I say, you won’t need to purchase replacement parts.

You can purchase on the Foreo Site, as well as find more information.

*Foreo Luna mini 2 provided free of charge for review purposes.

Hello! I’m back from our week in Cornwall, which was, in truth, up and down but I think I’ll save that for another family post as no doubt it’ll be a bit of a depressing ramble.

Today we’ll stick with happy, lovely beauty products and I’m delighted to share with you some new products from Balance Me.

Meet the Balance Me Restore and Replenish Collagen Boost Cream Cleanser and Face Cream*.

Balance Me Restore and ReplenishI really Balance Me. I like their whole ethos of combining natural ingredients with science to create effective skincare, and I like that the products deliver as well.

As I’ve explained in recent skincare posts, this isn’t so much a review as I’m too scared to chop and change products at the moment, but more of a look at this new launch here post.

So, the Restore and Replenish products have been two years in the making, thanks to the science-led peptide complex to protect, and maintain skin cells healthy, youthful structure. This complex contains Tri-Peptide to support and stabilise the collagen helix, Pea Peptide that contains 22 amino acids, making this a concentrated source of nutrients, Hyaluronic Acid for immediate skin plumping and Blackberry Leaf Extract, a powerful anti-oxidant. Combined, these ingredients promise to increase collagen synthesis, as well as protect the skins structure while plumping and smoothing the skins surface.

Balance Me Restore and ReplenishThe Restore and Replenish Cream Cleanser (£18/125ml) is designed to remove all traces of make up, without causing dryness or irritation. And it sure does, not a scrap was left on my face when I tried this out. Suitable for all skin types, this leaves skin clean and refreshed. It also smells beautiful.

The Restore and Replenish Face Cream (£40/50ml) is beautiful. As with the Cream Cleanser, the smell is gorgeous. It hydrates my dry skin very well, without causing blemishes, and my skin feels smooth to the touch. Its really lovely.

As I say, I am not doing a full review of these products as I am sticking with my usual skincare line for the time being until my face is back on an even keel, but if you are in the market for new skincare and you are looking for anti-ageing products suitable for sensitive skin, as well as an emphasis on natural ingredients, look no further. Despite my limited trial of these products I would not hesitate to recommend. Balance Me have never let me down!

Available from Balance Me online.

*Products received free of charge for review purposes.

 

 

Balance Me Facial Expression FillerIf ever there was a product that made huge promises with just it’s name alone, Balance Me Facial Expression Filler* is it. I had visions of looking botoxed and fillered to the max with this product, but no, its not that much of a miracle, I’m not sure such a product even exists in terms of skincare, but for £22 this little tube does have some great effects on my skin.

I love the Balance Me brand, they use great ingredients and this serum contains rose, frankincense and bergamot which smell beautiful of course but are all useful ingredients too. But then there’s acacia gum to firm, lift and refine the surface of the skin and acmella oleracea extract which soothes and relaxes contracted muscles. And added into that potent mix the current must have ingredient, Hyraluronic Acid to plump and smooth the skin.  You’re looking at a winning formula.

To use, you just need a tiny amount of product, patted directly onto any lines you wish to diminish, so forehead, around the eyes, sides of the mouth and so on before applying make up.

I felt the product was slightly mis-named. I was sort of expecting a product that literally filled lines, to provide a flawless base for make up, and that is not what this is. This is a nourishing, effective, daily use serum that plumps and nourishes the skin so that fine lines are diminished. And for that purpose it really works very well indeed. I noticed lines were less obvious, particularly around my eyes, from the very first use. I am not sure if the effects are cumulative, or if they are wash off at the end of the day, but I think I’m seeing an improvement in my lines even at the end of the day when I’ve washed my face. They’ve not gone, but they are certainly less visible.

So, Balance Me Facial Express Filler, if you’re of a certain age, and those lines are starting to make a nuisance of themselves, I think you should definitely add this little product to your arsenal. I’m really impressed and think this might just be the product I can’t bear to be without!

Available from the Balance Me Website at £22 for 15ml.

*Product received free of charge for review purposes.

Aromatherapy Associates Anti Ageing Overnight Repair MaskToday I’m doing a post about a beautiful product, the Aromatherapy Associates Anti-Ageing Overnight Repair Mask*.

I’m afraid this is something of a luxury product at £59 for 50ml, but it’s incredibly effective and an ideal product for skin requiring some tlc. It’s easy to use, you simply apply to the skin in the same way as any face mask and leave, overnight for best results but if you are strapped for time at least two hours will do. Ingredients include rose, frankincense as well as other potent botanical extracts. Strawberry seed extract feeds your skin rich fatty acids, while rice germ and millet seed oils nourish and protect against environmental damage.

As you might expect the smell is beautiful, everything Aromatherapy Associates make smells beautiful, but the effects on the skin are clear. I find when I wake up in the morning, my skin feels refreshed, healthy and glowy. Makes a very pleasant change to waking up dull, grey and tired looking. Although suitable for all skin types, I think this really excels with dry skins, its made a big difference to my dry patches.

I can highly recommend this product however, I am not thrilled about the price. I have loved every single Aromatherapy Associates product I have ever tried, and I have tried many, but the price point is high. I don’t doubt the quality at all, it is exceptional, but £59 for this small 50ml tube is far too excessive for me, this is a product I would like to use regularly, as the benefits for me are great, but I really couldn’t afford to. I think you could take £20 off the price and it’d still be an expensive product.

Oh but it is beautiful, it truly is, and it really has a great effect on my skin, so yes, I do recommend it, but I would recommend searching around, various retailers stock this product, at slightly cheaper prices.

You can purchase directly from Aromatherapy Associates for £59

But Beauty Bay are currently selling it for £42.40,  which is a saving not to be sniffed at.

*Product received free of charge for review purposes.

 

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

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

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

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

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

A winner of a product.

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

*Product received free of charge for review purposes.