This is a first for Charlotte’s Life 93, an interview and not only that one with an industry professional. Charlie Locks is a skincare brand located in Owslebury near Winchester. I was virtually introduced to Julie Raines, the co-owner of Charlie Locks by my previous boss who helps local and rural business develop. Julie kindly agreed to answer a few burning skincare questions for me, so without further ado I will leave Julie to it!
Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Julie I am 53 and in 1979 I qualified as an ITEC Beauty therapist and Esthetician. For the last 37 years I have worked on someone’s face nearly everyday. I proudly co own, with my husband Mark, Charlie Locks Professional Skincare which we relaunched at Manchester Pro Beauty North in September this year.
How do you start and end your day?
I start my day with a shower, assess my skincare regime for the day,glass of water, porridge and a cup of earl grey tea.
Evenings (depending how late I finish) I like to come in pop the kettle on and sit and relax whilst watching Pointless. My husband is a veteran triathelete so whilst he runs,or swims etc I try to do 30 mins of relaxing yoga or pilates. I then shower and take a good 20mins on my evening cleansing ritual. I love this part of the day as it relaxes me completely. I then either catch up with emails (which I know isn’t good as it messes with my sleep pattern and at my age lack of sleep is very unforgiving), and try to read a few pages. I need 8hrs sleep so I like to be in bed by 10:00 pm.
How did you get into the skincare industry and what’s made you stay?
When I started training in 1979 the courses were all at private beauty schools and the fees were expensive. You needed eight strong O levels two of which had to be sciences which I achieved. Training opportunities were in London and you had to be 18 and over. For a 16 year old girl from Basingstoke the task wasn’t going to be easy particularly as my Father and teachers totally disapproved of my career choice. They thought I was wasting my qualifications and should attend 6 form and go to University. I needed a job to save for the beauty school fees as I intended to go to the London College of Fashion and Beauty when I reached 18. Fate played a huge role when I went to the careers office looking for a job for the intervening 2 years. I explained my plan to the careers officer who only that day had met the lady who changed the course of my life. Susanne Saville was way ahead of her time and had salons in Farnham,Sunningdale with a third about to open in Basingstoke. She trained her therapists in her salons with theory being taught in a room at her home. The programme was ITEC accredited which I wanted as it’s recognised abroad and opened the door to other training if I decided beauty wasn’t for me. She was looking for mature students but agreed to see me as the Careers officer was so impressed with my determination and drive. Susanne was only in her early 30’s but was so sophisticated and educated that if she had asked me to walk barefoot through fire I would have done. To my surprise she offered me a training place on the provision I work and gain experience at talking to the general public for 12 months and reduced the course fees to £1500 (about £3500 today).This was a lot of money for me to earn but it meant I could live at home and walk to the Basingstoke salon which would be cheaper than commuting to London for training. Again, I got lucky and left school one day to start working full time in Marks and Spencer the next. I saved my fees and proudly started
my training on the 9th January 1979. I loved it. It was hard work and very unglamorous with long hours and intense study. I used to recite the muscle groups in my sleep. I quickly found I had an aptitude for massage, making masks and blending essential oils.
I have stayed in the Industry as I am still madly in love with it and I am still learning….But most of all I stay for that 16 year old girl who worked her socks off to fulfill her dream and dreamed of creating her own skin care products in her Grandfather’s name.
What’s your favourite thing about skincare?
Professionally educating people how to cleanse properly and to get the best from their skincare rituals and products. Personally , the cleansing & sensory ritual at the end of the day.
What’s the best thing about working in the beauty industry and what’s the worst?
Best – the trust a client invests in my advice, products and facials. It’s an honour and privilege.
Worst – the cult of anti ageing. Using very young models or airbrushing on mature ones to advertise creams marketed to women of my age. The very words anti & ageing are demeaning, play on insecurities & insult my intelligence.
Your view on face wipes? Good, okay in moderation or a no go!?
Loathe them.They lead to lazy cleansing habits, dull the complexion and I don’t like the ingredients used in their manufacture.
What is your top advice for skincare?
1) Understand how your skin works from the inside out.
2) Do not treat your skin as a type it’s your type not a brand’s definition of type.
3) Book a facial and learn how to cleanse, tone and moisturise properly.
4) Choose a product that you can afford to purchase regularly.
Can I ask about your own daily skincare routine?
My routine continues to evolve.
1) Morning – I cleanse with one of our cleansing lotion mixed with water. I always use filtered water (never from the tap as the water in Winchester is so hard) which I boil. Next I generously spritz one of our toners (the choice of which depends on how I feel). I blot my skin then apply eye gel above and below my entire eye area and around my mouth then moisturise. In the winter I apply serum then a layer of moisturiser. I like layering my products as they work more effectively. Whilst eating my breakfast my skin is absorbing and by the time I’ve finished my tea & porridge my skin will be ready for makeup. I love make up & I have worn foundation everyday
since I was 14. I see it as protection I will not go out with a naked face I see that as madness I do not want the pollutants that are in the air absorbing into my skin thank you very much.
2) Evening – I love my evening cleansing ritual. I remove my eye make up first then I cleanse twice with deep cleansing balm.I take my time with this and make sure my makeup is thoroughly removed. I then spritz generously with toner. Mid week I apply peeling cream to my entire face and neck. I never use granular scrubs or exfoliants as I think they are too harsh on mature or young skins. The grains cause microscopic scratches to the stratum corneum and cause breakouts to spread in the young and dehydration in maturer skin. Our peeling cream gently sticks to the dead skin and once it dries you gently flake it off in light circular movements taking all the dead skin with it. I do this 23 times a week at my age as doing so means moisturisers, serums etc all work more efficiently as they are not trying to get through a layer of dead skin. I spritz again and apply a light mask. I love masks it’s such an underrated therapy. If I am on a treatment regime say serum or essential oil to give me a boost I apply a few drops and slip happily into bed. If not after cleansing and toning I blot and simply allow my skin to rest .
If you had to pick one high street and one high end skincare item everyone should try what would you pick? Because I know how much ingredients cost and what goes to make a good formula I could never spend more than £40 on a moisturiser. Many so called high end products are just packaging and advertising and the focus should always be the quality of ingredients. So to answer your question:
1) High Street between 12-25 years of age I suggest Body Shop or Lush. 25 and over Vichy.
2) High End but a great price which I would recommend to anyone Caudalie.Well made super ingredients and realistically price.
Tell us about your brand Charlie Locks and what makes it unique
We use the best natural and organic active ingredients which are created by us from start to finish at our HQ in Hampshire. This gives us both a strong personal and physical connection to the products as we control the ingredients, packaging, & labeling. We are also the first skincare company to use the eco pouch for our cleansers,lotions and masks. We believe skincare is about what’s in it not what it’s in .
Where do you see Charlie Locks going in the future?
I want us to become an iconic British brand respected by both professionals and the general public alike.
What is your favourite product from the Charlie Locks range?
This is so hard as I fall in love with everything I formulate. If I have to choose just one then…The Boost and Glow mask with Rose Immortelle and Hyaluronic acid. You can apply thinly for 5 mins for a pre make up boost or leave it on overnight or in a bespoke facial treatment. It plumps and hydrates and calms the skin and has saved my bacon(as I don’t believe in airbrushing) before I have to be photographed on many occasions. I have a secret stash all over the place.
Until Next Time,
Laugh, Love and Shop