Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Fortnum & Mason Candle Room

Total eye candy post. I popped into Fortnum's for a meeting last week and had my first proper look at the Candle Room.

Sigh. Every single smell you could wish for - and the Fortnum's Christmas candle is as you would imagine: Miracle on 34th Street in a glass jar.

Candles made from the bees kept on the roof of Fortnum's. 

Christmas in a smell. Literally.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Jane Scrivner Nourishing Cleanser - Hall of Fame

A couple of weeks ago I spoke on a panel at Professional Beauty Manchester about changing trends in the industry. Jane Scrivner was on the panel with me and when I went to visit her stand I immediately honed in on her cleansing balm. The Nourishing Cleanser is a beautiful balm that contains:

Organic Jojoba Oil
Essential Oils of
Ylang Ylang, Elemi, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Lemongrass, Lavender, Myrrh, Sandalwood and Sweet Orange

That's it.

Who is it for?

Any skin type. The formula is nourishing without being gloopy - and nice and oily without being comedogenic.

What's good about it?

For something containing essential oils I have found this to cause no irritation whatsoever. It's incredibly gentle. It's a sophisticated formulation in that it holds as a balm, but melts slowly and luxuriously.

It removes all makeup effortlessly and is an absolute joy to use. Since I popped the lid I can't seem to pick up anything else to cleanse with in the evening. Skin is left soft and smooth and with no residue to touch. It's a finer, lighter 
formulation than most.

It doesn't emulsify. It's a balm, then oil, then rinsed. Bliss.

87% organic. The remaining 13% is beeswax and essential oils that are natural.

It comes with a big, fluffy, flannel mitt - not a muslin in sight. *JAZZ HANDS*

What's not so good about it?

Not much to be honest. It's on the higher end of pricing at £43.00 for 100ml - BUT - it should last a long time and they have a 10% discount offer on your first order via their website.

If you have a spa/salon I would highly recommend you look into this range - it ticks all the boxes. Quality product, a keen eye on customer experience and driven entirely by someone who cares about the end result for the client, not the bottom line for the shareholder.

Highly, highly recommended.

As a special deal for my lovely readers they are offering an additional £5 off your first order - on top of the 10% they normally offer. Quote HIRONS007 (had to get the Bond reference in) at checkout.

All info on Jane Scrivner can be found on the website: www.JaneScrivner.com 

*PR Sample - no affiliate link and no business connection to JS.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Beauty Myths No. 3 - Cleansing in the AM

'Do I really need to cleanse my face in the morning?' 

I've been asked this a lot recently - a lot. On the blog, on twitter, on Instagram.

In all honesty, I don't even know where to begin. 

Genuine question: Why WOULDN'T you wash your face in the morning??

'I don't have time.'

Get up earlier.

'I don't really need to, it feels fine, it has a lovely glow.'

Yes love, it's called sweat. Get thee to a sink.

'I read that so-and-so just uses a wipe to 'freshen.' 

So-and-so clearly has personal hygiene issues.

'I'm really sensitive, cleansing twice a day is too much.'

You're using the wrong cleanser.

'I'm really combination, if I cleanse in the morning my face is an oil slick by 10am.'

Stop using Fairy Liquid on your boat, wash your face gently, get the oil off that you've produced overnight and start FRESH.

Most night products are designed to resurface and regenerate the skin. If they are working - and let's hope for all our sakes they are, you need to give your skin a cleanse to remove the residue, dead skin etc.

As Monica* said: THAT'S JUST GOOD SENSE.

*token Friends Comment.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

The Experts. The Facialists. Amanda Lacey.

I'm so frequently asked about favourite brands and facialists that I figured it was time to start showcasing them a little more.

If I was forced to pick one facial to have for the rest of my life I'd probably go for Amanda Lacey's. You know when someone is just excellent at what they do? That is Amanda. The surroundings are immaculate - always - and the hands are warm and firm and leave your skin looking like you've had a rest. Which is what I always, always, need. No-one removes milia better. No-one.

Unlike the trend in recent years, she has no interest in discussing her celebrity clients. None. She would be mortified if she was mentioned as a 'celebrity facialist' - equally, she has zero interest in being famous herself. Completely refreshing and old school. 

Amanda also makes some of my favourite products of all time. I have long been obsessed with the Cleansing Pomade, whilst the Camellia Oil and Oils of Provence Oils will never not be in my arsenal. As well as the hands, Amanda has a nose to rival most fragrance houses, her perfumes, body products and candles are just beyond.

I'm regularly asked for advice on entering the beauty industry so I grabbed Amanda for a quick Q & A this week to get her take on a few things....

How did you end up as a facialist? Was it something you always wanted to do and therefore a straightforward path? Or something you discovered you loved almost by accident?

I guess after my beauty training at the age of 23.  I only ever wanted to own my own business and create beautiful products.  It’s interesting, beauty, it kind of grew on me, and I've had a love affair with it ever since...

I receive a lot of queries about training – some of them seem to be asking for the quickest route to a qualification. Where did you train and how important do you think the basic level of training is?
I trained at Joan Price's Beauty School in Chelsea, London.  Joan was the Beauty Editor at Harper ‘s Bazaar many years ago, so an important figure in the British Beauty scene.  The basic level of training for any therapist is of the upmost importance. Try and always go for a school with heritage and immaculate credentials. (Amen to THAT - CH)

What do you think the best reason for having a facial is? Is it for the results or the feel-good factor – or both?
 I feel when you are having a facial, it is important to experience a sense of well-being and of course overall excellent results. So both!

What is your favourite part of what you do?   
I really have to say, I am very blessed, in that I love every aspect of my job.

What is your favourite skincare product outside of your own range? 
Sisley Ecologique Compound. 

Thanks to Amanda for taking the time to answer my Q's. More Facialists to follow!

More information on Amanda Lacey can be found on her website www.AmandaLacey.com. Queries to jess@amandalacey.com.

Do yourself a favour. Go.

*I have no business affiliation with Amanda Lacey. She's just very good at what she does. 

Legology Air-lite Daily Lift for Legs

Here's the thing: Mum was a model, Dad was a goalkeeper. When the Sweet Baby Jesus was dishing out my body parts I got the Maternal bosom and waist - and Dad's lower half. It's still one of his proudest achievements. 'Look at those legs, could score from the half-way line.' Yeah, that's great Dad, if you're life's ambition is to play in the Premiership. I kid you not. He asks me to get them out at family parties. *lies down in a dark room*

The upshot is I'm not, nor have never been, a leg girl. The magnificent bosom I can do, the long, leggy, gangly thing I cannot. So I don't pay them much attention - I mean don't get me wrong, I love them, they work - they do a fine job of holding me up - but they're never going to be on my 'finest features' list (outside of a football programme).

Well Kate Shapland has spent years thinking about legs. What makes them tick, what makes them lethargic - she even devoted an entire blog to them. Believing that cellulite is often the symptom of a lazy lymph and best addressed with an integrated approach that includes daily stimulating massage, Kate has just launched Air-Lite Daily Lift for Legs - her aim is to create a cohesive topical approach to optimise the lymph and lighten the legs, improving their overall beauty and wellbeing and supporting a complementary lifestyle. 

Air-Lite Daily Lift For Legs is her first product, the hero of the brand. She has produced a limited run of 500 jars, each hand-numbered, with a set of application guidelines inside every box.

It's cooling, refreshing and leaves the legs feeling like they are actually 'doing' something inside - if that makes sense?
Mine has been stolen by a very pregnant friend - who literally will not even let me look at the jar again in case I take it back.

Legology's Air-Lite is £60 and available from Liberty and MyShowcase.com.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

When to cleanse.

I sent out a tweet a couple of weeks ago that became one of my most RT'd ever.

It had been on my mind after the first couple of weeks of skin consults where the majority of people who came to see me said that they cleansed their skin before they went to bed, not when they got home.

So I thought it worth repeating on here as a lot of readers aren't on twitter:

Cleanse your skin and remove your makeup when you get home, NOT when you go to bed.
As a typical example, if you get home at 6 and go to bed at 11, that's 5 hours of grime, sweat, makeup and general dirt on your face for another 5 hours. If you get rid of it as soon as you go home your skin is luxuriating in oils/balms/nighttime treatments for an extra FIVE hours (as an example).

Take everything off when you get home, go about your evening, then when you go to bed check your skin. If everything has absorbed you can add a little more of the heaviest product you used, in my case, facial oils or balms, before you get in bed. You are aiming for a happy, glowing skin, not a greasy slimy face.

I promise you - if you aren't doing this already, you will see immediate results from this one simple change.

And those of you who have said you don't want your partner to see you without makeup. Get a grip. And possibly a new partner. JUST SAYIN'.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Glycolic Facial Cleanser - Anthony Logistics for Men (AND WOMEN)

I'm a great believer that there are very few products made for men that women can't use also (Tena pads aside, the truth can also be found in the reverse).

The added bonus is that men's products are nearly always, always cheaper.

Case in point: Anthony for Men - a great range - reasonably priced, paraben and mineral oil free (jig) and single-handedly the most popular brand with all of the men in my house (headcount: husband, 21 and 19 year old sons - for reference!).

I've used the Glycolic Cleanser on and off for a few years and at last night's Space NK event I recommended it to a number of people which reminded me to blog about it!

It contains 4% glycolic acid but counteracts it with an aloe vera hit so is very soothing. It does contain everyone's favourite panic buzzword of methylisothiazolione - but its in a very small % (judging from the inci). I personally haven't experienced any adverse effects from MI (to my knowledge) - and am fine using this. Just a little FYI.

Full ingredients are:
Aqua (Water), Cocoamidopropyl Oxide, Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Phytate 9 (Rice Derived), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citrus Noblis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Ascorbic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Acetate, Methylisothiazolione, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract

If you had a particularly bad ezcema/psoriasis prone skin I'd maybe sample this first - but for everyone else - especially acne prone skins - this is great - either as a quick morning cleanse or a second cleanse in the evening after MU removal. And boys. I suppose we should let the boys use it too.

Glycolic Facial Cleanser is priced £21.00 for 237ml - a ridiculous bargain - and is available from www.SpaceNK.comwww.Mankind.com and of course www.Anthony.com

Monday, 7 October 2013

Space NK Beauty Festival

Space NK is 20 years old this year (20!) - and to celebrate they are holding a series of events across their stores this week. 

On Wednesday night I am chairing a panel of brand founders/representatives on the topic of Science v Nature

Appearing with me are the founders of Goldfaden MD, Zelens and Elemental Herbology - I'm expecting it to be a very interesting debate!

Details of all the other events happening are listed below.....

Tickets are £15.00 and fully redeemable at the event - call 0208 740 2085 for further info.

Do come and see me if you can!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Beauty Myths No. 2 - Skin Purging.

Your skin does not 'purge'.

If you start using a new product and suddenly have a face full of spots/redness/swelling - that product (or machine) is not for you.

There may be a risk of slight exacerbation of spots if you are acnaic and suddenly use a product high in salicylic acid for example, but that should not last for weeks on end.

I often hear things being sold saying 'this may make your skin purge for a while, but then it will be GREAT!'.

The reality is probably closer to 'this may give you a face full of spots, either because the ingredients are comedogenic, or your skin does not like some of the ingredients'.

The odd whitehead, i.e. proper traditional spot - appearing after using a new product is no big deal.

An angry red face with a mixture of swollen-won't-come-to-a-head spots, cysts, whiteheads and blackheads is not purging. It's your skin begging you to stop whatever it is you are doing. Listen to it.

Personally, even if my skin was bubbling under the surface like a dormant volcano, I'd rather treat it gently, use good facial plant based oils, massage it well and let it works it way through it. I don't want to use something that makes it erupt.

Hey ho. That's just moi.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013


I'm so sorry but something has inadvertently gone wrong with some recent comments on posts - across all posts actually. I haven't purposely removed anyone's comments - I'm so sorry if yours is missing!

I'm blaming IOS7.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Backstage at Stella McCartney SS14 for Sunday Riley

No babies, no boobs. Fair enough.

Yesterday I was in Paris working backstage prepping the models for the Stella McCartney show on behalf of Sunday Riley. It was busy, so hot, sweaty, but great fun. I thought I'd share some of the photos from the morning. Hope you enjoy.

Miranda plonked herself down right next to us. Nice. :)

I had to. My Mum and Dad met at the Cavern. Gimme a break.
Stella, Eugene and Cara pre-show.

Caught having a kip. :)
Pat McGrath and team.

The finished product.

I was asked a lot on Twitter/Instagram what I was using - I mainly used Charisma Creme cleanser, Start Over eye cream and Good Genes treatment. The skin needed to be fairly dry for the makeup stage so only one model needed a moisturiser on top and that was Skin Adrenaline. I used it on top instead of underneath Good Genes to give it a little extra 'glow' without looking shiny.

More info on Sunday Riley is available on their website and it is sold in the UK at Cult Beauty and Space NK.

*All photos copyright Sunday Riley or Caroline Hirons.