Just Charlie G

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.

Gotta love a decent moisturiser! The weather is cold (and drying), central heating is drying and in the winter months our skin can really suffer. As we get older too, our skin can change and need a heavier dose of moisture and that’s certainly been the case for me. This winter, age 40, has been the first winter I’ve seen a real change in my skin. It was dry to the point of flaking off particularly on my cheeks. I’ve always suffered a bit of dryness on my nose that has always made applying foundation tricky but this year its spread out onto my cheeks and even my chin to a lesser degree and my usual moisturiser just didn’t cut it.

I recently blogged about the Aveda moisturiser I use and really love, but when I was sent the Balance Me Moisture-Rich Face Cream* to try out I thought I’d give it a go.

P1160323Balance Me’s whole ethos is one of using naturally active botanicals along with hi-tech natural formulations and pure grade essential oils to offer skin that works well as well as offering additional aromatherapy benefits.

This moisturiser is aimed at minimising signs of ageing in dry, sensitive and mature skin. Well that’s me then. *weep* It works to add a protective layer to shield the skin from daily wear and tear using Arctic Cloudberry  to offer powerful anti-oxidants along with organic shea butter, camelia, rosehip and kukui nut oils to moisturise while offering vitamins, lipids and fatty acids.

It smells beautiful and feels really luxurious whilst managing to avoid any greasy feel on the skin although I can still feel something on my skin when I’ve finished applying. The lovely pump bottle dispenses just the right amount and I was pleasantly surprised at how little I needed.

Given that I’m already happy with my routine, and given the slight amount of product left on my skin once applied (it’s not greasy, so much as ever so slightly tacky), I’ve slotted this into my night time routine. In part down to the dryness, and in part just because of how my skin is, I can get some redness around my nose and I find using this at night means that redness is less obvious when I wake in the mornings.

Would definitely recommend this but depends on your skin and your routines as to whether I’d recommend it as a day cream, a night cream or both. I haven’t tried it under make up but as my skin and make up are fussy at the best of times I’m avoiding using it underneath cosmetics.

Balance Me Daily Essentials Moisture-Rich Face Cream is £24 for 50ml (as shown) and there are two smaller sizes available,  10ml for £6 and 25ml for £15.

*Product received free of charge for review purposes.



As I was lying in bed last night thinking about my hair colour, I thought back to my first attempts at colouring my hair. I used to go to the local chemist and pick up sachet’s of Wella’s Shaders and Toners.  Which got me started thinking about all the other products I used religiously in the past too. Many of which I wasn’t able to find photographs of, but I’d love to know if you remember them too, or for you to add your own memories in the comments!  I can’t always remember which decade products belong to either, it’s all a bit of a haze.


I used to love these! Shaders and Toners were amazing. I always went for red shades, and they claimed to last up to three washes. I can remember examining my hair in sunlight and seeing a faint red glow and being well pleased with the results!

Sticking with the hair theme, it wasn’t long before I discovered Sun In.


Hairdressers throw your hands up in horror! I actually used this several times over the years and actually I think the results weren’t at all bad. I’ll have to dig out a photo at some point but there’s no denying it’s straw making effects on my hair.

St Ives Shampoo’s and Conditioners. I think you can still get these, but I used to buy mine in Superdrug and I remember a Keratin formula and a Vanilla Flavour but they made my hair so so nice.

And quick mention must be given to the Banana Clip. God they were great, if a little frustrating thanks to the fact I have so much hair it was always a bit of a struggle to get the damn things done up. I miss banana clips.

Perfume. There are so many I recall but this one really sticks with me.


Colors de Benetton Woman. Mine was in a hexagonal shaped box I think, but it was possibly my first perfume, in a bottle, that I wore every last drop of.  Many came after it (see my library of fragrance post) but this was the first one I ever owned, following years of liberal Impulse spraying.

The Avon years. A school friends mum was an Avon Lady, I can’t even remember who it was, but I probably have them to thank for my love of make up now.


I remember she had her mum’s tester kit and I had several of these gorgeous little testers off her. I’d absolutely LOVE to own this now. I ended up owning several things. Of course the sky blue liner, the electric blue mascara and one thing I remember with special fondness. It was a cardboard tube housing a powder puff and the most beautiful pink shimmer powder. I put it everywhere I loved that stuff. I would love to see it now but alas none of my google searches have been successful. It was also Avon (I think) who introduced me to face masks, I particularly remember the whole family trying out a lemon peel off one. It was revolutionary and I can smell it now!

There were other skincare products I swore by First of all the Aapri Dual Cleansing Pads. I know many will recall the Aapri scrubs, but this was a whole other kettle of fish, basically a scourer for your skin that was soaked in a foaming solution. You ran your pad under the tap and then scoured your face, actually, I think they still exist, or a version of them does.

I also, in the early 90’s relied heavily on a 3 in 1 cleansing foam, I can’t recall its name or brand, but it was a foam that did the job of cleansing, toning and moisturising in one go. It was also the done thing for everyone to own The Body Shop Elderflower Eye Gel.

I also went through a long period of using extremely heavy duty toner type cleansers, such as Clean & Clear. The cotton pads always ended up black. You make mock these prehistoric products, but my skin is far worse now than it ever was when I was in my late teens/early twenties.

The Body Shop deserves its own paragraph, who can forget Banana Shampoo & Conditioner, Ice Blue Shampoo, Raspberry Ripple Body Wash, Dewberry fragrance oil and White Musk and Japanese Cleansing Grains (I think they were called). Some of these have been re-released since but it’s not the same. And It’ll be too soon if I ever smell Dewberry again, I didn’t even like that one at the time.


Roll on Glitter.

rock n glitter

I used to wear this stuff, on nights out. Nuff said.

Lip products.  Aged around 10, so 30 years ago, I remember my friend getting Boots 17 Twilight Teaser Lipstick.


I’m looking at it and I’m feeling it’s magical pull. I still want this lipstick.  No one can pull it off (although its far more mauve than this picture would have you believe). I still want to try. When I eventually did start wearing make up I started with more Boos 17, I remember a shade called Toffee Apple. I lived in that. Actually looking back now, it’s browny-red hue was the definition of a 90’s lipstick and as you probably know it’s a big trend for this year. I’ll be looking for something similar I think.  Oh and then there were the famous Rimmel Coffee and Heather Shimmer lipsticks, everyone had either one or both. Not terribly flattering on most of us, but like we cared.


That right there is Heather Shimmer, but both shades are still available.

Finally in make up, there were lip glosses, more specifically roll on lip glosses. I can taste and feel my cola flavour one now. I think I got it in a chemist with my pocket money, and I was very young. I loved it though, I’m sure I owned more!

Finally, I just want to pay my respects to a product that I didn’t actually own but that I remember my Granny owning.


Still available today, Boots Smiths Cremolia is a product thats been around a long long time. I recall my Granny always having it in the house but I’m not sure that she did, but somehow it made a great impression. I can recall the smell and it’s strange gloopy gel/serum texture and I think I might go and pick up a pot, if its been around for over 50 years, that probably means its good!

So tell me, do you remember any of these things and what do you remember that I haven’t mentioned?!


You probably won’t know, unless you read my old blog, that I am a devout, even evangelical lover of all things Aveda.  I use exclusively Aveda skincare products finding they suit my skin perfectly and I have done for at least the last year, and for me who has notoriously chopped and changed my skincare, this is a miracle. It may even been closer to two years now. I’m sure products will come my way but I’d be very surprised if anything could pull me away from my beloved Aveda permanently.

That said, I recently ran into some issues with my moisturiser. I had been using the Aveda Outer Peace Blemish Relief Lotion which was helping to keep my skin (mostly) clear but as Winter set in and central heating turned up, it just wasn’t cutting the mustard, my skin was becoming dry and spotty. Sticking with Aveda I decided to try out the Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Cream but that didn’t agree with me too well either, it was just a touch to rich for my poor skin. The dryness disappeared but my spots increased. I was just wondering what to do when Aveda launched some new Botanical Kinetics products, and now I seem to have just the right moisturiser for me.

The Botanical Kinetics range are, as the name would suggest, plant based and are designed to support natural energy production in the skin cells,

I’ve got the Botanical Kinetics Intense Hydrating Soft Creme* and the Botanical Kinetics Energizing Eye Creme*.


Starting with the Eye Creme (£35), this is a 98% naturally derived light creme to help tackle dark circles and puffiness. Including  Licorice root (known for it’s soothing properties), plant derived caffiene (to energise the appearance of the skin and and reduce puffiness) and Cupuacu Butter to seal in moisture. You only need the smallest amount it blends easily without needing to rub and I feel that the area feels hydrating immediately and skin looks plumper. It’s not cheap, but if you’re looking for instant results, look no further.


The Intense Hydrating Soft Creme (£40) is perfection. It’s just what I was looking for, where I was finding that during this cold winter my moisturers were either too light or too heavy, this one falls right in the middle and is perfect. It smells beautiful for starters, if you’re familiar with Pure-Fume then you’ll know the scent, Rose, Geranium, Olibanum, Sandalwood and Neroli a gorgeous combination. Although the scent is perfection, it’s the active ingredients that really matter and they are good too. There’s Salicornia Herbacea (a seashore plant prove to stimulate skin cells) and Cupuacu Butter (contains lips like the skin’s own helping to seal the skin’s barrier and prevent moisture loss). My skin is now adequately hydrated, all my dry patches (particularly my nose) are gone completely and I’ve not had any new spots, the old ones are fading and I couldn’t be happier.

The Eye Cream on the left and the Hydrating Creme on the Right. I’ve used enough eye cream there for about 10 eyes, you need so little!


If your skin is in greater need of moisture, Aveda have also launched a “Rich” version of the hydrating creme to offer even more moisture.

The products are available now from the Aveda website and I cannot recommend them highly enough. I’ve not had a bad word to say about Aveda products yet. A hugely underrated brand in terms of everything they do outside of hair care.

*Products received free of charge for review purposes