Thursday, 23 January 2014

I've been a little absent!

2014 started with me having the resolution to blog every day Mon - Fri. I was doing quite well - then my Grandmother died. How very rude of her.*

We are currently in that horrible stage between a loved one passing and actually holding the funeral - so time feels a little suspended. I am going to keep blogging as and when I can - and I want to because it takes my mind off of things and keeps me busy - but please bear with for now.

Many thanks to everyone that has sent messages of support - they are much appreciated. And special shout-outs to Hayley, Ree, Rosie, Jo and the amazing Espa Life team at Gleneagles for stepping in and holding me up when I got the news.





*Please don't take offence at me joking about my Nana's passing. It's the only way I'm getting through it and she would totally, absolutely, laugh with me. And don't worry, this won't turn into a blog full of grief/endless posts about the family. It's a blog - not Days of Our Lives.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil


One of the most recommended products in my skin consultations is a serum/oil. For all skin types and all skin conditions. There's always one that will work for someone.
From the end of January I have a new addition to those recommendations.

The Body Shop are extending their best-selling Vitamin E range and introduce the Overnight Serum-in-Oil at the end of this month.

This particular serum blend is really light and easily absorbed and contains the highest concentration of wheatgerm oil across the entire Vitamin E range. As well as Sunflower and Jojoba, it also contains Marula, Sesame and Soya oils from Community Fair Trade farmers - always a key part of The Body Shop's ethos.

It's designed to be used in the evening (clearly) to 'replenish and recharge' - but if you are spectacularly dry/dehydrated I would use a small amount of this in the morning too - underneath your usual moisturiser. I've been trialing it for a month or so and find it works really well when applied at both times of the day.

For those readers asking for more affordable options without compromising efficacy - this is £12.00 for 28ml.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil launches on 28th January from all Body Shop stockists and on www.thebodyshop.co.uk.



*press sample

Friday, 17 January 2014

Merumaya launches on QVC today


Merumaya - the lovely affordable range I posted about recently launches on QVC today with the above kit while stocks last:

Melting Cleansing Balm™ FULL SIZE (100ml)
Iconic Youth Serum™
HALF SIZE (15ml)
Youth Preservation Moisturiser™ SPF15 HALF SIZE (15ml)

QVC PRICE: £24.95  -  VALUE: £46.50  -  SAVING: £21.55

This range is recommended both for its efficacy and its price point - and with QVC's returns policy there is no reason not to try for yourself.

Further show times are listed below.

QVC Show Times:
Friday 17th January:  

The Morning Show 9-10am
Lunch Time Special 1pm
Friday Night Beauty 9-10pm


Saturday 18th January: 
Beauty Showcase 1am

Wednesday 19th January: 
Everyday Beauty 12-1pm

Tuesday 21st January: 

The Morning Show 9-10am
Everyday Beauty 4-5pm


Sunday, 12 January 2014

Catch-up, thank you's and the final 12 Days Giveaway winners..

First things first, I've just come back from up North where my Nana is 'comfortable and stable'. Frankly she looks anything but to me, but there we are. We've been here before and she has always rallied - but as time goes on it's harder and harder to judge the situation...hence my quick departure and absence on here.

I want to say a massive 'thank you' to all of you who sent prayers and good wishes, my family and I are hugely appreciative of your support.

Secondly: I jumped on the PC under my daughter's sign-in and thus had to search my name on Google to find the blog - something I've never had to do before. I had no idea that so many of you have mentioned me in your blogs/on You Tube - thank you. And thank you to those of you that have defended me and the blog on some less-than-flattering threads I've seen (bleaches eyes). As my very sensible husband says, 'You put yourself out there with opinions and thus you make yourself a target. That comes with it.' I would just say this in my defense: I have never received a 'kickback' from a brand (EVER), I'm not a slob and I DO have good skin. Alrighty then.

Moving on!

Rather than post all of these separately just for the sake of driving traffic to the blog, I think you've already waited long enough - again, sorry about that!

The remaining winners are:

Paul Mitchell: Beccy Evans

Cult Beauty: Olivia G

Indeed Labs: Orla McLaughlin

Beauty Bay: Adriana Adu

Pixi: Caroline (CAC612)

Beauty Works West: Hannah Stone-Coward

REN: Heather Adair

Sunday Riley: Stefanie from Queens

And Prtty Peaushun: Ali ( in a wheelchair for 5 years), Little Goddess (who is going to die if she doesn't win - we can't have that), Sarahlb - and PP decided to give an extra one to Ilke - who wanted to give her prize to Ali (first winner) if she was to win. Now you don't have to - you have your own coming. :)


If you have won please email info @ carolinehirons.com with your full postal address.
Please give us this week to organise and forward etc - I'm away for 3 days and may not be able to send the details to the brands straight away.

Thank you to everyone who entered. And thanks again for your support.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Giveaway Winners

My apologies to those of you waiting for the giveaway winners to be announced. 
As those of you that follow me on twitter may know, life got in the way a little since Christmas. 
I'm back in London tomorrow and will post the winners (all of you) tomorrow evening. 
Thank you for your patience. 

READER APPRECIASHUN PROMO


For 48 hours only Prtty Peaushun are offering readers of this blog both in the UK and the USA 20% off all shades of their fabulous hero 8oz size of Prtty Peaushun in all shades.

If you could 'like' their Facebook page that would be marvellous.

Thanks to the lovely team at PP for their lovely Promeau offer! (I had to!)



Promo ends Sunday 12th January at 11.59pm.

UK readers please don't worry about the dates in the graphic - they're US-friendly. It's not the 1st of November and December :)

Friday, 10 January 2014

Beauty Myths No.5 - if you have oily skin you don't need to moisturise

I beg to differ.

The biggest mistake people with oily/combination skin make is to try and 'strip' the skin during the cleansing stage - to the point where it squeaks (faints) - and then not apply anything else on top and just go.

Your face is not a shampoo advert. You cannot just 'wash'n'go'.

For the more lubricated of us:
  1. Cleanse your face with a good non-foaming cleanser (oil/balm/gel - no mineral oil and no fairy liquid).
  2. Exfoliate with an acidic toner.
  3. Spray hydrate.
  4. Apply a light water-based serum to target specific skin conditions (ageing, pigmentation, scarring/dehydration etc) if that is a concern.
  5. Apply either a moisturiser (am) or a facial oil (pm) designed for your skin type.
Use serums to treat your skin condition.
Use moisturisers/facial oils to treat your skin type.

Washing your face and going out with nothing on it is akin to leaving the house butt-naked. 
Frankly, you should be arrested on sight.


Coming up: the difference between skin conditions and skin types.


Thursday, 9 January 2014

Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm


This review is so overdue that it's borderline embarrassing. Merumaya launched just over a year ago and is the brainchild of Maleka Dattu, a force in the industry and a woman who many, many years ago interviewed me for a job - I didn't get it, how rude quite rightly.

The range is perfect for those looking for good results without a high price tag, incorporating proven ingredients with a signature ingredient, RevitElix and a lovely, distinctive signature fragrance. 

RevitElix is Echium oil (derived from borage) and full of omegas - crucial for barrier repair and especially important at this time of year when your skin is flashing through hot and cold extremes of temperature.

INCI:
CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, GLYCERIN, PRUNUS AMYGDALUS DULCIS (SWEET ALMOND) OIL, AQUA (WATER), SUCROSE LAURATE, GLYCERYL DIBEHENATE, ECHIUM PLANTAGINEUM SEED OIL, PHENOXYETHANOL, SUCROSE PALMITATE, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE), SUCROSE COCOATE, SUCROSE STEARATE, CITRONELLOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, GARCINIA MANGOSTANA FRUIT EXTRACT, LIMONENE, LINALOOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, CHLORPHENESIN, TETRASODIUM EDTA, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, HEXYLENE GLYCOL.

Suitable for all skin types and all ages - I use this and would be equally happy with my 12 year old daughter using it. There is no reason to avoid this if you are acnaic or alternatively suffer from eczema/psoriasis. It is extremely gentle and leaves no greasy residue on the skin.

If you like products that you can splash off, this will emulsify and is therefore a major point of difference compared to some balm cleansers - theoretically giving you the best of both worlds.
Equally: if, like me, you prefer to use a cloth to remove, it lifts away easily while also giving great massage resistance.

The cherry on the top is the pricepoint:
Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm is £14.50 for 100ml and available on www.merumaya.com and in John Lewis stores.


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Mains

Ooh a new fave. The first time I tried this I loved it. Loved it. I use a lot of hand cream - especially in this weather and on skin consult days. I still adore Aerin Rose Hand Cream but this is smaller - and cheaper (I am always asked for cheaper!).
It's 30% glycerin and has niacinamide at 4% making it perfect for Mr Hirons and Son No.1 - both of whom suffer with dry hands.

Inci:
AQUA / WATER
GLYCERIN
BUTYLENE GLYCOL
CETEARYL ALCOHOL
NIACINAMIDE
GLYCERYL STEARATE
BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII BUTTER / SHEA BUTTER
DIMETHICONE
PEG/PPG-18/18 DIMETHICONE
GLYCERYL STEARATE SE
SODIUM POLYACRYLATE
CAPRYLYL GLYCOL

It coats the hands - in a really good way - it's not sticky or oily at all - just really really comfortable. Especially good for people with dermatitis/eczema/psoriasis (through my testing - not a particular claim LRP make).

Escentual.com have it for £5.19. It seems to be sold out online at Boots. Silly Boots. Sort it out.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

rms beauty Raw Coconut Cream



I suspect it would be easier to get a great picture of Elvis Presley (alive) than of this product. White tub, white product, so much white. So allow me to hand over to someone who clearly has the patience of a saint:
Photo courtesy of the gorgeous Vivianna Does Makeup - Thank you Anna!

Raw Coconut Cream is exactly that. 100% organic coconut oil cold-pressed with no added ingredients.
Coconut is high in lauric acid which is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal making this agreeable for all skin types. My only word of caution to those with active, cystic acne (not the odd spot) is to make sure you rinse this off thoroughly. 

Other than that, this is really, really lovely to use:

  • It annihilates makeup. All of it, including eyes/mascara. 
  • You need a tiny amount so it will last you a good while. 
  • I only use it in the evenings at the moment but if I was particularly dry I would tail end and use it AM too. 
  • It's perfect for this weather (UK - cold, wet, windy).
  • Your skin feels really soft and beautiful after use - even upon waking in the mornings.

It's like washing your face with a Bounty. Lush.




rms Raw Coconut Cream is £12.50. I bought mine from Beauty Works West..

2013 in Pictures. Blog/Workscapades.

It is so, so easy to whiz through life and forget key moments or things that you experienced. My long-term memory is horrible, horrible - short-term is amazing - but as time goes on things seem to fade into the background and all too often someone will say 'Remember when...?' and the answer is too often 'No'. However, if you need to know where you left your keys, homework or wallet - I'm your woman. I'm trying to remedy that - so for the New Year there will be a few more photo-led posts, if only so that I can read them myself and say 'That was so much fun.' and take a minute to remember.

Ava and Lucia meet JLS at their fragrance launch

Backstage at QVC with Poppy King
The Skincare sessions at Liberty! 
What's in My Handbag came and hung out in my office.
Dinner with Ole Henriksen - and Ree! :)


The PA at Selfridges complete with a smash'n'grab.
Hung out with Charlotte Tilbury at her House of Rock'n'Kohl.

Went to IMATS with this lovely lot.
Gave skin consultations in Fortnum & Mason.
Was introduced to Mr Kors' beauty line. LOVE.
Went to Kensington Palace with Estee Lauder.
Compered a talk for Space NK.
Worked backstage at Stella McCartney in Paris.

I'm so grateful to the opportunities that arise both through my work and this blog - and that is partly down to you for reading it. So thank you. Here's to more adventures in 2014!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Pure Candle Porn. Jo Malone Just Like Sunday Collection

I don't need any new candles - says Mr Hirons. That's besides the point - says me.

Jo Malone just unleashed these beauties as their Just Like Sunday Collection and they are doing nothing to help my addiction. Although to be honest if it was 'Just Like Sunday' in my case, they'd have one that smelt of bleach, tea and Blue Blood marathons.

Sweet Almond and Macaroon

Green Tomato Leaf

Lavender and Lovage

Incense and Embers

Just Like Sunday Home Candle Collection is available now on www.jomalone.co.uk priced £39.00

Ole Henriksen - Truth is in the Eyes


I love this product. It's one of those that you don't need to use very often and see results from very quickly.

I being the freak that I am, use my exfoliating toners all around the eye area - I always have. This however, goes that step further and really makes the skin smooth and soft and thus much more tolerant to absorbing eye products.

Inci:
Water, Chondrus crispus (Carrageenan), Citric Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Glycolic Acid, Saccharide Isomerate, Hydrolized Rice Bran Protein, Oxio Reductases, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Glycerin, Lactic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol (preservative), Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Hyaluronate, Algae Extract, Pullulan, Oleth 20, Allantoin, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Calcium Ascorbate, Aloe Vera Extract

It is extremely gentle. Seriously. I've had no adverse reactions to this and heard no reports about problems from readers that have tried it. If you suffer from tired, wrinkled, puffy eyes this could be the answer to your prayers.

More info here: www.olehenriksen.com
$42 US/£38 (approx) UK

2013 in Pictures. The Skincare. Part 2

AUGUST (that TAN!)
SEPTEMBER
OCTOBER

NOVEMBER
DECEMBER

Ah I love skincare. LOVE.

Friday, 3 January 2014

2013 in Pictures. The Skincare. Part 1.

JANUARY
FEBRUARY
MARCH

APRIL

MAY

 JUNE

AND MORE FOR JUNE!

JULY

2014 - Organisation!

Source - whimsy and wild

Things got a little crazy in the latter part of 2013. I've started 2014 determined to 'get a grip'. In all areas.

I always remember Nigella (yes, she) saying that you could be a great mother, a great wife and a great businesswoman but you could only be really good at 2/3 at any one time. I know what she means.

It's easy to forget balance and live to work - not, as it should always be: Work to live. Spending time with family and a lot more time with your children soon makes you remember what's important.

I've made my usual lists for 2014 and spent the best part of the last two days having a major sort including:

  • Iphone contacts updated - I had people in there I have never met (don't ever make the mistake of syncing your contacts with LinkedIn!).
  • Properly syncing all my accounts.
  • Using unroll.me to get rid of/organise the 322 (!!) email subscriptions I had. 90% of which I had never subscribed to. Bar Stewards!
  • Using Boxer to organise my email accounts even more so than I already do. It's genius. Try it.
  • I'm going to the trouble of finding 'unsubscribe' in other unwanted emails instead of just deleting.
  • Updated the Filofax paper diary with Icloud - just as well - I had 3 could-have-been-embarrassing clashes in January alone.
  • Made an appointment with my accountant. Alpha are great if you need one.
  • Made blog 'to-post' lists! YAY!
  • Made a shopping/food list that included buying fresh every day and ordered a big 'cupboard' shop online. We spend far too much and waste far too much time when we actually do the big shop in store.
  • Updated and fine-toothed my financial spreadsheet.
  • Already sent the birthday cards for the first 2 weeks of January (THIS is HUGE for me (shut up Family!))
  • Ordered those CD's I'd wanted for ages.
  • Ordered a new juicer!
  • Organised supplements in the cupboard, office and handbag.
  • Taken down the Christmas cards and checked for new addresses.
  • Joined the National Portrait Gallery - been meaning to for years, finally did it.

Now I just have to deal with THIS:

*Puts kettle on*




Empties. Georgia Louise Cleanse & Heal Balm


Upon grabbing this to use as a mask in the bath last night, I found empty no.2 of 2014. Nicely, I had just enough to use it one last time.

The Cleanse & Heal Balm is really a cleanser but my skin was feeling the effects of the heating and the weather so I used it for around 10 minutes as a mask.
Although this says it is for all skin types, it's a really oily balm and for that reason I would go with caution if you are an acne sufferer. If you are dry however, this is bliss.

Inci:
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Butter, Mango Butter, Organic Beeswax, Organic Castor Oil, Organic Apricot Kernel Oil, Passion Fruit Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Organic Papaya Oil,Vitamin E Oil, Organic Bulgarin Lavender, Organic Ylang Ylang, Organic Chamomile Moroccan

The Cleanse & Heal Duo Balm is £46.00. The one in the picture is old packaging. The links below are to newer versions.

More info on Georgia Louise and the Cleanse & Heal Balm can be found on www.georgialouise.co.uk and it is sold in selected Space NK's and online:  www.spacenk.com

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Empties. Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist


Running out on New Year's Day, the first empty of 2014 is Omorovicza's beautiful Queen of Hungary Mist.

This is a beautiful hydrating spray that I use after exfoliating toning and underneath serum. It's also something that I keep a travel size of in my office to show to skin consult clients and to keep my face fresh and hydrated during the day. It's suitable for all skin types/conditions.

Inci:
Aqua (Hungarian Thermal Water), Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Saccharomyces (Hungarian Thermal Water) Ferment Extract, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Mannitol, Malpighia Punicifolia (Acerola) Fruit Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris/Lupinus Albus Protein Ferment, Pectin, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Water, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Water, Phospholipids, Yeast Extract, Linalool, Geraniol, Citronellol.

Omorovicza QOHM is £46.00 for 100ml and the travel size is available in their various kits.

More info on Omorovicza can be found on www.omorovicza.co.uk 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Exclusive: MIO launches today

Any brand that has the motto 'Fit Skin For Life' is OK by me. I know from the emails I receive that many of you will have used Mama Mio products. Originally designed for use during and post pregnancy, the brand quickly gained notoriety for being fun and fabulous while delivering results without the usual BS and women-hating marketing that is all too prevalent in the beauty industry. 


Today sees an expansion for Mama Mio. MIO is their brand new range for 2014 and promises to shake things up in the industry, just as its predecessor did for pregnant women years ago. 
Launching with 3 core groups: Moisturing Miracles, Aqua Actives and Firming Faves, Mio has the same life-affirming philosophy while encouraging you to be the best YOU that you can be. This is no place for guilt or negativity. The messages across the products range from 'Strong is the new skinny' to 'because lipo sucks'. 
The products are insanely beautiful, hi-tech formulas for affordable prices and they actually work. Each product comes with its own leaflet, instructions, and quick exercises that correspond with whatever product you have purchased. If you are someone for whom healthy living is a way of life or simply someone that has decided you WILL get fit for 2014, there is something here for you.



I asked Sian Sutherland, one of the founders of Mama Mio and now Mio, for her reasons for the new range and how she feels about the industry and the way it markets to women.


You have a hugely successful brand with Mama Mio.
What inspired you to launch Mio?
Us four women behind Mama Mio have never wanted to just make more for the sake of it. We create everything very differently - probably because we don't come from big beauty brand background - so we don't know any other way than creating from gut instinct. 
We focus on women's needs rather than trends. We are probably the most selfish skincare company in the world. We make the skincare that WE need, products that fit into our lives and actually do what we want them to. Our skincare has always been a reflection of our own life stages, and right now we are obsessed with feeling as good as we possibly can by living well - eating right, exercising often and having as much fun as possible. 
So many people we meet are working towards their own optimum fitness - we all think about fit bodies, fit muscles, fit minds even. And yet it struck us that no-one talks about the fitness of your skin. Fit skin is strong, smooth, firm, glowing with health and energy.  Fit skin is your own skin in peak condition, not some airbrushed Hollywood ideal; so we love how positive and real and achievable it is. 
 8 years ago, we launched the first skincare range to care for your through pregnancy.  And now in January 2014, we are the first to create a range totally focused on skin fitness.  The new Mio range covers incredible strength building moisturisers like our firming oil The Activist, firming and toning faves like our pimped Boob Tube + and Shrink To Fit, smoothers and cleansers like Liquid Yoga, our gorgeous restorative bath treatment and our brand new muscle motivating gel that is like an energy shot to your muscles, Workout Wonder.  
And just as you find Mama Mio in pregnancy stores, you will also find Mio in fitness studios and premium gyms around the world. 


What does this mean for Mama Mio?
 Nothing but good news! We have taken this year to not only develop Mio but also REdevelop Mama Mio. Mama Mio is now even better; 8 new formulations bringing our cult faves bang up to 2014 date, new packaging and we have even raised the bar on our original No Nasties promise - our formulas are now not just free of parabens, petrolatum, mineral oil, SLS, artificial colourants and fragrances but are now PEG and glycol free too.  So if you are looking for pregnancy or new mama skincare, you can trust our years of experience with our Tummy Rubs, new Pregnancy Boob Tube, Keep Calm Nipple Balm and the first of our pregnancy face care line, Gorgeous Glow Balancing Facial Wash. 
We decided that if we are going to be the choice of royalty, we'd better look like royalty!

As a brand you've been very 'pro-women' and haven't marketed to women's insecurities.
How important is a healthy mind and body to Mio?
Hugely important. We believe that confidence is not so much how you look, but how you feel about how you look. Women are living longer now and we need to redefine our beauty language. As a beauty brand, we feel very responsible for the 'voice' we use in everything we do. Too much skincare makes you feel bad about how you look - and we are meant to be in the feel-good business! So whether we are helping you with cellulite, super-dry skin or saggy boobs, we want to always do so with warmth and wit.

What are you most excited about for the brand in 2014?
Well of course we are very thrilled to be launching in Space NK and Selfridges this January. They have really embraced the whole new skin fitness niche and are creating windows all around fitness and wellness with Mio at the centre. I am really looking forward to our Mio Workout Wonders series - monthly fit skin events in London and New York, the coolest workout classes with fitness gurus combined with some know how on skin fitness from ourselves. 
 I'm also super excited to have some new products within our Mama Mio range as it has been 3 years since we have created anything new specific to pregnancy. 

What are your Top 3 tips for a healthy 2014?
  1. Move your body, it doesn't need to be structured exercise; just walk, dance, ride whenever you can. No one ever finished a workout saying "I wish I hadn't done that". Getting your muscles working, exerting yourself, boosting that circulation and those endorphins is the key to glowing skin that is vibrant with health and energy. Love that word 'energy' - just find yours every day because it is seriously addictive. 
  2. Think inside outside. We all know the truth - eat more protein than carbs, lots of antioxidant rich green and brightly coloured veg, drink water (plain as poss), and max out on Omegas - crucial for skin health and bounce.   
  3. And finally - make this the year you think beautiful. I am so bored of the anti-aging conversation. We banned that word years ago in our company. Nothing is more negative and impossible - you age from the minute you are born. Here's my answer to the continual age/beauty debate: STOP TALKING ABOUT IT AND EVEN BETTER STOP THINKING ABOUT IT. Let's get on with LIVING instead!! So much more fun. So this year, love what you see in the mirror and focus on what really matters in life - love and laughter and making other people happy. 



Huge thanks to Sian for talking to me - and massive thanks to Mama Mio for being a positive force in an industry that sometimes forgets itself and goes for bucks whatever the cost.

#fitskinforlife

MIO is available now on mioskincare.com and www.SpaceNK.com
For more information on 
Mio: 
US -  www.mioskincare.com
UK - www.mioskincare.co.uk