Monday, 31 August 2015

First Aid Beauty Giveaway

To celebrate their launch into Selfridges Oxford Street and online at this month, First Aid Beauty, one of my favourite hard-working, affordable ranges, are holding a takeover of the Selfridges Beauty Workshop this week. From today until Sunday 6th they are on site to offer sampling, talk about the range and advise you personally for the best products for you.

They are also offering one lucky reader both here and on my Instagram, the chance to win 6 of my favourite FAB products.

To win this lovely lot:

Milk Oil Conditioning Cleanser

Facial Radiance Pads
Vitamin Hydrating Mist
Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Sleeping Cream
Facial Radiance Overnight Mask
Ultra Repair Body Lotion

Simply enter via Rafflecopter below:

  • Open Internationally
  • You can enter once a day
  • One prize, one winner on blog
  • One prize, one winner on Instagram
  • Giveaway closes on Sunday 6th September at 11.59pm UK time.
Good Luck everyone!

First Aid Beauty is available at and obviously their own website:

Aerin Rose Oil

Oils are the one product I cannot live without. If pushed, they would be the one thing I would take to an island. Whether for cleansing or massage, everyone needs one. I've been using them for so long that I tend to not talk about them that often - but after a little sort out recently, I have so many suggestions that I figured I would share them more often..

One of the most recent finds to land on my desk is the new Rose Oil from Aerin. This has completely surprised me. I think I was expecting it to be a heavier consistency and more traditionally scented, I don't know. 
Oil manufacturers have a constant dilemma on their hands with scent and keeping customers happy. The best oils for the skin frequently stink. They just do. I don't mean they're 'slightly unpleasant', I mean they full-on PONG. When Sunday Riley launched Juno, which is fragrance-free, India Knight called the smell 'faecal' in the Times (I have to say, it didn't hurt sales at all). If you've used it you'll know what she means, although it never bothered me personally. 
So a lot of brands add a little fragrance, to counteract the smell. Then customers kick off about 'cell death' and other such extremes and it seems we're in a never-ending circle. 

For the record, I don't mind essential oil or fragrance in my products, the key for me is the quality and the quantity, not the fact that they are in there in the first place. And I don't agree with Beautypedia about essential oils causing 'cell death'. Nothing new there, but I've been asked about that in particular a lot lately so probably worth mentioning. 
'Oh but there are studies that show...' ... There are studies for both sides, always have been, always will be.

Anyway: the heavy consistency/overpowering fragrance is not what we have here. This is lovely and light, I mean really light. And the scent is fresh and subtle, again, really subtle. Some rose-based oils smell musty and are overpowering, this one dissipates really quickly and does not linger.
It massages like a dream, absorbs beautifully and works extremely well under my moisturiser in the morning. 

I haven't been able to find out if it is cold-pressed or not, but I suspect not. When I find out I will update the post. 



Well worth checking out if you are in need of a little extra oomph as autumn draws in.

The Aerin Rose Oil is £50.00/$68.00 and available from most Aerin outlets including Sephora.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Beauty Myths No.15 - Micellar Waters are a 'proper' cleanser

Source - Marie Claire - Design by Katja Cho

I am frequently tagged on twitter or Instagram whenever there is an article singing the praises about micellar waters, cleansing, mineral oil, wipes (God - always the wipes!) online or in a magazine. 

It's a daily occurence and I read as many of them as I can. Sometimes for a laugh, sometimes I agree with them. As always, whatever works for you, do. 

Yesterday though, Marie Claire posted this article 'Ditch the Cleanser: 6 reasons to make the switch to micellar water' and I had to stop and read it, aghast.

Micellar waters were originally designed to be used for those occasional times when you have no access to water, like backstage, hence the huge awareness of Bioderma. 

Firstly: I will never, for the life of me, understand people who think that using these products are 'quicker' than washing your face. If using micellar water is 'quicker' than washing your face, you're using them incorrectly. A quick swipe across the forehead is not going to do it. When I have to use them backstage at shows it takes me at least four sets of two separate cotton pads to clean the face of makeup. Used both sides. That's not quick. 
Add to that the constant rubbing of cotton wool and ingredients that aren't exactly 'softening' and you're setting yourself up for a sore face.

The reason this Marie Claire article riled me was this sentence: 'Plus, it's free of soap, fragrance, alcohol, and other abrasive chemicals that can wreak havoc on your complexion daily.' Just no. These waters are all chemical, some contain alcohol and most contain fragrance. 

Before those of you that have to use micellar waters jump to their defence, I've already said, do what you have to. Work situations, new babies, flying, the gym - micellar waters can come in handy.

But try and make them a temporary substitute, not a permanent fixture. 

Friday, 28 August 2015

How to use your Cult Beauty Box!

Hi Everyone! Wow - Cult Beauty move quickly - some of you have already received your boxes! 
I thought it might be helpful if I did a quick post on how to use all of the contents together in a routine?

Just a quick note for those of you that are leaving comments on my various channels saying you're disappointed that you aren't going to get one because 'you don't get paid until Monday' - please don't worry - we made more than double the amount of boxes on this run than the first one. 
You should still be able to buy one on Monday. *fingers crossed*

First up is RMS Coconut Cream. This is where you want to start either your evening routine or a quick cleanse in the morning. This removes all makeup, including mascara, really easily and gently and is great for all skin types. Make sure you remove with a proper flannel/face cloth. There is no splashing this off! Original review here:

Skyn Iceland's Pure Cloud Cleanser is perfect for all types of cleansing, although I tend to use it for either second cleanse in the evening, or a quick cleanse in the morning. It's softening, non-foaming and leaves no residue, although obviously, we'd be using a flannel here too. :) 

Follow those up with gold old GT. Not G&T. Glow Tonic. 
5% glycolic acid in a non-alcohol base, witch hazel, aloe vera and ginseng all ensure you exfoliate while not disturbing or drying out the skin. You can use Glow Tonic twice a day or add it to your acid collection and dip in and out, which is what I do. Original review here:

Eyes are next. Skin Owl's Eye+ is one of the most cooling, soothing and softening eye creams that I've ever used. It's almost instantaneously firming and offers immediate relief. The gel texture allows you to use the smallest amount, and that is all you need.

Serum-wise you have choices! REN's Omega 3 Optimum Skin Oil is perfect for adding immediate glow and radiance to your skin. Adding a couple of drops to your morning routine under your moisturiser will help hold moisture in your skin all day without feeling heavy or cloying. Original review here:

Odacite's Hydration Serum Concentrate would be my choice for the evening routine. Cold-pressed and refined, this Pomegranate and Geranium combination is heavy in fatty acids and helps to heal and nourish the skin. You should see a change in your skin after one use. Original review here:

Given how nourishing the serum choices were, I wanted to choose a fresher moisturiser for this box. Essential Hydration Cream is light, hydration-heavy and the effects last 24 hours. A teeny amount on top of either serum will last all day and makes a brilliant makeup base.

Pommade Divine is the multi-tasking must-have that you can use anywhere, everywhere and on everyone. Regular readers will know that I burned my arm this summer - to add to the 'July sucked' list - this worked beautifully in helping it heal quickly and took down the 'heat' of the burn. You can use it on hair, skin and nails - I've used it on the kids multiple times since my own burn.

I hope that helps give an overview of the box contents. Do leave me a comment if you have any question on how to use any of the products, and obviously any feedback you have!

The value of the box for those of you asking can be seen below.

SKIN OWL EYE+ - £36.00

The total value of the box is over £170.00 and it costs £100.00 and ships free Internationally.  If you haven't purchased yet, you can do so here:

Glow Tonic hits Target!

Thanks Pixi. This made me smile.

GOOD NEW AMERICA! From this weekend you can pick up Pixi's Glow Tonic in 1500 Target stores nationwide.

U.S. Customers are getting an exclusive 100ml size - the UK has to wait until next year for this size.

I hope our American skincare obsessives love it as much as we do!

Available here: for $15.00 

*Pixi are on of my clients. But let's be honest, if I didn't tell ou lovely US readers that you could get it in Target you'd give me a hard time. ;)

Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Cult Beauty Box is now on sale!

Hi All!

So those of you on the wait list for the box should have received your pre-sale notifications by now. 

I hope you managed to get one because.....the Cult Beauty Box is now on general sale! 

Quick reminders:

  • The box is £100.00.
  • Free Worldwide Shipping
  • The saving is over 40%
  • There are 7 full size products, one 30ml and one travel size
You can purchase the Cult Beauty Box by Caroline Hirons here:

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

IT'S HERE! The Cult Beauty Box full reveal.

GAH! Almost there. Time for me to tell you what's in the box before it goes on sale TOMORROW!

Alexia Inge, the co-founder of Cult Beauty and I talk you through the contents in all their glory in the video above but if you want a quick peek...

I know a lot of you already have, but if you want one last chance to sign up to the wait list you can do so here:


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Cult Beauty Box - Final Reveal

The final sneaky peek into the upcoming Cult Beauty Box is Odacite's Hydration Serum Concentrate.

Originally reviewed here and you can have a quick gander here....

It's your last chance to sign up as the sale announcement is 'imminent'. :)

Sign up here:

Monday, 24 August 2015

The Perfume Society

If you aren't aware of them already, those of you that love fragrance should check out The Perfume Society. A must-read for all scent addicts, and a genuinely interesting read for those of you with just a passing interest, The Perfume Society has discovery boxes , award-winning online newsletters, and a fabulous Instagram.

Each box comes with scent strips, information on all the perfumes in the box and some added surprises.

You can buy the boxes as a one-off, buy a VIP membership for someone as a gift or just read their great articles like this one about the Top 10 fragrant Instagrammers to follow. :)

Michael Kors Gold Collection

I've had a love affair with Mr Kors for a long time. As I mentioned recently on my Instagram, I was a bag, wallet and watch girl long before he did THIS:

Which, of course, sealed the deal. Let's not all pretend you don't think Girls on Film isn't the best song ever made for ads, you know it is. *is literally playing Duran Duran on a loop now*

ANYWAY: these three fragrances are the latest addition to the Kors stable and do not disappoint for fans of the originals.

White Luminous Gold is pear/jasmine/amber.
Rose Radiant Gold is spice/floral/musk.
24k Brilliant Gold is mandarin/floral/woody.

All are exactly as you would expect, with satisfying, ridiculously heavy packaging.

Available now from priced from £39.00 - £79.00.

I'll be the one in the corner smelling fabulous dancing to Duran. Forever.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Clarins Joli Rouge aka Lipstick Nirvana

Some lipstick porn for my fellow addicts, this time from Clarins. The revamped Joli Rouge range has 25 colours and is available from September.

They smell like red berries, come in every colour under the sun and have a six hour life on the lips. 


Available here in September:

Budget Buys

Well SPF is done, retinols are next up, and after that I'm going back to budget basics. These Clearasil Pads were the star of the show last time and incidentally are still on sale for A POUND here: (there are not many in stock though - move quickly)

Do let me know any of your current favourites that I may not have grabbed so I can pick them up when I'm out shopping. I'm aiming for supermarkets and chemists. Not department store prices.

Hit me up!

*Use google for comments - there's a glitch with Intense Debate - sorry!

The Cult Beauty Box - more details

-> Sign up here <-

Hi Everyone!

OK. I know it's a fine line between doing 'reveals' and just plain winding you up - so I thought I'd give you a few further details before the official launch, which will happen this week.

When it came to doing a second box with Cult Beauty, I wanted to offer something that worked with most skin types, that offered a complete routine, recognised the time of year, and was amazing value.

To bring you up to speed thus far:

You will have already seen Pixi Glow Tonic and Skin Owl Eye+ - and there will be one more reveal this week before it goes on sale.

  • The wait list is working the same way as it did last time. After everyone on the wait list has been notified and given their 'time to buy' slot, any remaining boxes will go on general sale. We didn't get that far the first time, so it is worth signing up to the wait list if you think you may want one - there is, of course, absolutely no obligation to buy. It just gives you an early opportunity to buy.
  • People on the wait list will have a 3 hour window to buy before it goes on general sale.
  • The Box contains SIX full sizes, one 30ml travel size and one 10ml trial size. Eight items in total. 
  • The savings on the contents of the box equates to approx 40%.
  • The price of my second Cult Beauty Box is £100.00.
  • As always, it will ship worldwide.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

The Cult Beauty Box - Reveal No.2!

I'm SO excited for you all to see this box. The second sneaky peek into the skincare gloriousness is...

Skin Owl Eye+ 

The eagle-eyed amongst you will recognise this from my Instagram - this a relatively new find for me, but one that I've loved over the summer. It instantaneously de-puffs the area and is ridiculously soothing.

Tomorrow: THE PRICE REVEAL and number of full sizes. :)


Sign up for the wait list here:

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The Cult Beauty Box. First Reveal

Quite easily the most requested product for the Cult Beauty boxes last time, your wish is indeed our command this time around. 

To sign up for the wait list and the chance of winning a skin consultation with my good self you can add your name here:

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Cult Beauty Box No.2 and a little jig for you.

Box Number Two is on its way. To sign up for the waiting list and a chance to win a skincare consultation avec moi simply fill this in...!

Pixi Skintreats Giveaway Winner

The winner of the Pixi Skintreats Giveaway is...... Karina Sargo from Portugal.


Thank you to everyone that entered. Stay tuned for this week's giveaway coming soon. 

Pixi Skintreats will launch Nationwide in the UK in Marks & Spencer on 3rd September and are online now at

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Quick Fixes. Odacite Serum Concentrate - Hydration

Whilst packing for a couple of trips during the last month I realised that although I always have 'Quick Fixes' in my bag, I've never actually talked about them in that way.

Odacite are an American brand based out of California and literally have something for every skin condition. There are 18 serum concentrates, for everything from dehydration to oily to sensitive to clogged pores and pigmentation, you will be able to find a quick fix of your own.

I've had this Odacite serum for a couple of months. I took it with me to Cornwall because I know my skin in the sun, and no matter how much I try and keep it plumped up, I always have some degree of dehydration. It's inevitable. 

I applied a couple of drops to my face before moisturising and SPF in the morning, and sometimes reapplied in the evenings under after-sun or in my moisturiser.

For me, the effect of the Po+R Hydration serum is immediate. Skin glows, looks plump and is the closest you will get to the 'just walked out of a facial' look with the least effort.

All of the Facial Serum Concentrates use organic, cold-pressed oils and can be used either as an intensive treatment or simply to 'fix' a temporary situation, such as monthly hormonal spots.

The products are made in small batches to ensure freshness, are preservative-free and come with their own 'Freshiency Date', as opposed to the traditional expiry date.

If you live in the US, you can find Odacite here:
and the UK here:

The Hydration Serum Concentrate is £33.00.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Goldfaden MD response

Last Saturday I posted this review about Goldfaden MD's Sun Visor product. Understandably a lot of their customers that read the blog were concerned and I started receiving worried messages and comments immediately via my social media channels.
After two of my readers, Sarah and Jaquie, left comments with replies they had received from both Goldfaden and Space NK to their queries, I emailed the UK PR and reiterated my offer of letting Goldfaden use this platform to respond to my review, which I thought was only fair.

Below is Goldfaden's response (complete with their own capital letters/punctuation) with my further comments below them.

From the blog:
'Not only that, the titanium dioxide is nano-encapsulated, something which the California senate is so concerned about that Goldfaden MD have to have the proposition 65 warning on their website. The list includes 'airborne titanium dioxide' in 'a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity’.'
Nano-encapsulated titanium dioxide is a topic of much discussion in the SPF world, but what everyone pretty much agrees on is that inhaling it is probably not the best idea. And this is a spray.'

Goldfaden MD: 
This is to clarify that the product has NOTHING TO DO WITH NANO PARTICLES (NANO). Micronized is NOT the same as Nano. This is an entirely false accusation and wrongful claim. The Titanium Dioxide that we use is broken up in smaller particles (i.e. Micronized), which are much larger by definition than Nano particles. Nano is an entirely different process defined by size and production procedure, etc. The micronized Titanium Dioxide used in this product is bound to the formula’s ingredients, including water, and therefore is not harmful for its intended use. To summarize: THERE IS NO NANO ENCAPSULATION IN THIS PRODUCT WHICH IS WHAT CALIFORNIA STATE PROP 65 IS REFERRING TO AND ALL CLAIMS ELUDING TO “CANCER-CAUSING” PARTICLES. Out of respect to California state residents and to avoid any customer confusion, the link to the background and explanation of the proposition appears across the entire website.'

Happy to clarify. My apologies. Goldfaden have added the term non-nano to their website here, which should comfort their customers that can simply google 'titanium dioxide micronized' and see for themselves that industry thinking is generally that the term micronized equates to 'nano'. 
Micronized TD is a particle of an average of 15nm and thus it is considered a nano-sized particle. No confirmation from Goldfaden on the size of their particles.
This is why a lot of 'green' brands specify 'non-nano' on their packaging. Perhaps something for Goldfaden to consider on their next repackaging to avoid any possible confusion in stores?
Note however, that Proposition 65 refers to 'airborne titanium dioxide, unbound particles of respirable size', it makes no mention of nano. And it's not on the Goldfaden website 'out of respect to California state residents'. It's the law.

From the blog:
'Do not use on or near the eyes.' It's a spray. Recommended for the face.'

Goldfaden MD:
The blog writer’s configuration is looking at this in a very different direction than what’s intended to be conveyed on the packaging. This is a simplistic warning label under the guidance of the FDA and safety control about keeping any consumer products away from getting directly in the eye (other than what is intended to go directly into the eye, i.e. drops). It’s not “harmful” to the skin around the eyes, but this is to encourage users to be cautious. Customers are encouraged to use common sense when applying any topical agent on the face.

Whether it's clear on the packaging, or it's 'intended', this is the message taken directly from Goldfaden's YouTube channel. 36 seconds in - two spritzes to the face, two to the neck. 

If they think that offers enough protection, so be it. That's their opinion, it's their brand and their product. 
It's personally not how I would advise applying SPF, or how much I would suggest using to be fully protected, but it's only fair to show what they mean. 

From the blog:
the box clearly states 'silicone-free' like a badge of honour - below:

but it contains two silicones - polydimethylsiloxane and dimethylsiloxane. These ingredients are chemical silicones, any which way you dress them up.'

Goldfaden MD:
These ingredients are sourced from natural sources (ie. apples, raw cabbage and pumpkins) and are used in the development and refining of the final product formulation. These are used in trace amounts and are inactive, however these are disclosed on the label by inci name.

I know they're disclosed on the inci. I'm the one that pointed it out. The type of silicone isn't the issue. I personally like silicones, as regular readers will attest to.
The point is that they're silicones. Silicones don't magically appear from fruit. It's a chemical process.
Read for yourself.
My concern was simply that they were in a product claiming to be 'silicone-free'.
*Net-A-Porter emailed me first thing on Monday morning to say 'thank you for bringing this erroneous silicone mention' to their attention and that they have changed the copy on the product page accordingly. I have of course altered the original review to reflect this. Thank you for the kind words NAP.

From the blog:
'this product contains oxybenzone at 1%, but is not labelled with a warning as required by EU law in products containing oxybenzone at a percentage higher than 0.5:'

Goldfaden MD:
According to the EU, safety data allows up to 10% usage in topical agents. Warning discloser just states the use if above. 5% and/or used as product protection purposes. Benzophenone-3 is the same as oxybenzone and is used as protection purposes. This adheres to the EU requirements as the “warning” label is simply stating that the product contains the ingredient and at what percentage, which LISTED IN THE ACTIVE INGREDIENTS LISTING and ADHERES TO THE EU regulations,
“When a product met this requirement, the warning: Contains oxybenzone was required to appear on the label. While oxybenzone is the drug name for the INCI designation benzophenone-3, a consumer in the EU might look at a product label, see this warning and scan through the ingredient listing only to find no oxybenzone listed there. Regulation No. 1223/2009 changes the phrasing of this warning to now read: Contains benzophenone-3, to match the way it appears in the ingredient disclosure and outlined in the active ingredient listing.”
Furthermore, EU document on compliant percentages:

Happy to correct the original review accordingly, the Goldfaden position is correct. There are two amendments at the bottom of my original EU link - if it's benzephenone-3, used in this way, you don't have to say 'contains oxybenzone'. Details here from the EU amendment: Benzephenone-3

From the blog:
'The packaging description says it contains zinc oxide, but zinc oxide is not listed in the ingredients list. So if it does contain zinc oxide, the ingredients list is misleading, aka unlawful, and if it doesn't contain zinc oxide, then they are at best, misleading their customer.'

Goldfaden MD: 
Thank you for highlighting. This is a typo. We have addressed in reprinted packaging.

No explanation on whether the product used to contain zinc oxide and when it was removed, or how long it has claimed to include zinc oxide when it actually doesn't. Goldfaden aren't clear on whether or not I received out of date packaging or if the product is about to be repackaged.
Personally? Simply claiming it's a 'typo' would not be good enough for me if I purchased this in good faith because I wanted a product that contained zinc oxide.

The Organic Red Tea mystery
An eagle-eyed reader called 'prune' left a comment on the original blog post asking where the red tea was on the inci list. I hadn't even noticed that. I assume that will also be added on the new packaging, as it has now been added to the ingredients listing on the site.

To summarize?
Honestly? This has been the most unpleasant and unprofessional experience of my blog life by far.
Actually nothing to do with the Goldfaden team themselves, who I have had no direct contact with and who, as I stated in the original review, are lovely people who I genuinely think have their customers best interests at heart, but suffice to say some people could have handled it a lot better considering that as a direct result of my original review:

From my perspective? This has been a reminder for me that it is not always easy putting your name out there and actually having an opinion
I have never been, nor will I ever be, a 'press release' blogger. I ask questions. That makes some people uncomfortable. Some brands and PRs react brilliantly to that, others get defensive.

I will always say when I am wrong, correct it and apologise if necessary.
I will always be open to constructive criticism. 

I teach my kids to OWN IT. FIX IT. MOVE ON.

For my part, I have owned it and fixed it. I am moving on.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Pixi Mattelustre Lipsticks

Forgive the second Pixi post in a week, but I had to get these on here. For the first time in their 15 year history, Pixi have turned their hand to matte lipticks and they are glorious.

The colours are deep, highly pigmented, softening and lush and range from Honey Bare to Plum Berry.

Courtesy @pixibeauty Instagram

My favourites are obviously the Coral Red, Pure Fuschia and Classic Red.

They contain peptides, vitamins C & E and hyaluronic acid to help plump up the lips but the best part is that they are only £14.00. Available here.

*I have a working relationship with Pixi but that excludes all blog content. Except when I blackmail them and make them do a great giveaway for my readers. ;)