Monday, 30 November 2015

Dehydration week - Chanel Hydra Beauty Range



What is it?
'An innovative range of moisturisers, HYDRA BEAUTY responds to the hydration needs of every woman, regardless of age or skin concern.'

Pretty self-explanatory, although I would remember that men also get dehydrated..!

Who is it for?
Dehydrated skins - all ages.

What’s in it?
I have three different versions - but only the inci for two that I had the foresight to snap pictures of knowing how hard (impossible) it is to get ingredients online from a lot of brands, of which Chanel is one. So excuse the photography but it's better than nothing!

Hydra Beauty Micro Serum:


Hydra Beauty Nutrition:



Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
fragrance
shea butter

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
man made with a sprinkling of natural

Tested on animals/sold in China?
No/Yes

What's not in it?
mineral oil
parabens

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
So the serum is a couple of pumps into the hand and then spread over the face after toning and under moisturiser.
The moisturisers are self-explanatory, but I tend to use about a 5p size (dime) and use on top of serums/oils etc.

What’s good about it?
I really enjoy using this range. All three products that I have tried are really lovely to apply, they absorb beautifully and they do the job well.  
The Micro Serum is particularly 'wet', if you know what I mean, and like I said before, absorbs well, immediately soothes any tight feeling without the greasy feeling that some hydrating serums can leave. I would say it's suitable for all skin types.
The Hydra Beauty Creme is the one aimed at a normal/combination skin and probably best suited to daytime use as it's great under makeup. This is light, yet hydrating and more than enough for me on a normal day.
The Nutrition cream is the serious contender for those of you with dehydrated and dry skin. It's thick, luscious and feels like a comfort blanket. For that reason, I use it when I'm not leaving the house or in the evenings, sometimes after using retinols, sometimes on its own.
The effect the next day is good. Skin is soft, hydrated and looks rested.

Tip: if you are dehydrated, buy a silk pillowcase. Seriously. Your cream actually has the time to stay on your face and absorb, it doesn't end up on your pillow. Nobody needs an expensive cream-laden pillowcase!

What’s not so good about it?
If you don't like fragrance in product you probably won't like this, I must say though, if you haven't looked at Chanel skincare in a while, go and have a smell. This is a world away from the 'peachy' smells they were doing around ten years ago. I didn't get on with them but this is softer and much more subtle.

The Chanel Hydra Range is available from FeelUnique.com in the UK and Nordstrom.com in the US, but it is out of stock a LOT. You may have to search it out.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

DEHYDRATION WEEK


Oh it's that time of year. Face feeling tight? Sore? Central heating on? Windy outside? Yep. Everyone I have seen lately is dehydrated. I mean, we're all pretty much dehydrated most of the time anyway, but at this time of year it's particularly bad.

I'm focussing this week on products for dehydration so do please leave your favourites or any that you would like further information on in the comments and I'll try and get to as many as possible throughout the week.

In the meantime, if you're unsure if you are dry or dehydrated (or both..) read this cheat sheet: dry-or-dehydrated-cheat-sheet

First up is Chanel Hydra range.

The Cult Beauty Box revealed!


Thank you for watching! 
  • The third box goes on sale next Thursday. 
  • All the details of the contents and price are in the video below.
  • And yes, it ships internationally!


The list is quite busy already - if you even think you may possibly want one, I would sign up. 




I'll answer as many questions about the box and contents as possible in the comments both here and on YouTube.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

VLOG WEEK THIRTEEN


We have lift off on Vlog Week Thirteen!

This week is the filming of the Cult Beauty Box reveal video, Ava's singing in the shower, me judging the J&J Skincare Awards and the opening of Charlotte Tilbury's beautiful new store in Covent Garden, where I ask her point-blank abut sleeping in her makeup!

Next week I have a couple of days away with Elizabeth Arden, a Christmas Fair at Downton Abbey aka Highclere Castle and an award ceremony. It's December. It's all go.

Have a great weekend everyone!

CH x

Friday, 27 November 2015

Hall of Fame - Estee Lauder Revitalising Supreme CC Cream


So I first blogged about this nearly 18 months ago and during that time I've used three tubes of it, equating to roughly 6 months usage per tube. I was never on board with the labelling of creams using bra sizes - if you know what I mean - although I'm quite interested to see what someone could do with an XX cream - but it doesn't really bother me anymore - BB/CC etc are a part of our beauty-buying lives now. I have some real makeup loves and they are long overdue for the Hall of Fame.

What is it?
'This innovative, multi-action formula richly nourishes, comforts and revitalises skin's appearance.'
It's a tinted moisturiser/primer/spf/glow in a tube hybrid.

Who is it for?
All skin types. The Revitalizing Supreme range is aimed at people with signs of ageing, but Anna from Vivianna does Makeup also loves this and she has no signs of ageing...the wench.

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
Apply a 5p size all over a clean, moisturised face in the morning. Add a little more if necessary, but start with less and build up. It can be used either on its own or under foundation.

What’s good about it?
This to me, is one of the CC creams/primers that I reach for regularly, especially if I'm not planning on wearing makeup. I prefer it on its own. It is a universal colour, suiting all shades, that disperses and adapts to your skin on contact, even darker skins. I write about it in more detail in my first review here. This is the first thing you put on your skin after moisturiser, and because this adds colour to the skin, I class this as makeup product. But it's a friend with benefits. It adds colour, takes away dullness, adds SPF and works as a primer - a massive all-in-one. The immediate lifting of your skintone is brilliant.

A snippet from my original review:

Suitable for:

Covering blemishes? No.
Evening out skin tone? Yes.
Hydrating/prepping the skin for use under makeup? Yes
Wearing alone without makeup? Yes, if you are having a no-makeup-day.
Heavy on top of moisturiser? No.
Makes you look better than before you used it? Oh YES.


Estee Lauder's Revitalising Supreme CC Cream is £42.00 and available from Selfridges.com - I'm sorry US readers - I don't think it's available over there! (Well I certainly cannot find it anywhere...)


Thursday, 26 November 2015

Hall of Fame - Zelens Z Luminous and a 30% discount across Zelens.com


Ah Dr Lens. My favourite Italian. After Rocky Balboa. This bottle of whiteness saved my face from significant pigmentation and is therefore going straight into the Hall of Fame.

What is it?
'This advanced serum visibly brightens, smoothes and hydrates the skin.'

It's a serum to tackle dull and pigmented skin.

Who is it for?
Anyone with pigmentation issues, dull skin, skin with discolouration issues.

What’s in it?
Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Pentylene Glycol, Squalane, Phytic Acid, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Zinc Glycinate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Bisabolol, Hydrolyzed Pearl, Silanetriol, Silica, Polysilicone-11, Benzophenone-3, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Metabisulfite, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sorbitan Isostearate, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Parfum (Fragrance), Linalool, Sodium Hydroxide

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
fragrance

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
A mix of naturals and super hi-tec/vegan

Tested on animals/sold in China?
No/No

What's not in it?
mineral oil
parabens

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
I applied 2/3 pumps all over twice a day until it ran out. After acids, under moisturiser.

What’s good about it?
Z Luminous was 95% responsible for removing the patch of pigmentation in between my eyebrows that I gained over the summer (despite using SPF50). Almost singlehandedly. 
Whilst I was still using my acids and some retinols, I used this consistently throughout September/October until it ran out and my pigmentation has substantially faded. It's pretty much indistinguishable unless you're looking for it.
It is easily the most effective serum for my pigmentation that I have used.*
Dr Lens (Marko to regular viewers of my channel) is the King of Serums. The formulas are all well thought out and they work. There's really not much more to say.
Niacinamide, resorcinol, zinc-glycine complex and phytic acid all work together - at high %s - to target all signs of pigmentation/dullness and discolouration. I first wrote about the effects of niacinamide over 5 years ago here.

What’s not so good about it?
It's £135.00. But in some cases, you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. The second ingredient in this is niacinamide. It's an expensive formulation, and the proof is in the pudding. 

To celebrate landing in the Hall of Fame, Zelens are giving all of you lovely readers, even those of you overseas, a 30% discount across the board from Zelens.com until next Wednesday evening. 
As an extra, you will receive 1 x free Skin Perfectors Collection (worth £82.50) with a spend of £125 and above on anything purchased between now and Monday evening.

The 30% off code will remain open until 11.59pm UK time on Wednesday 2nd December.

Your Code is HIRONS30.



*Bear in mind everyone's skin is different. I attacked my pigmentation early, and although it was a seasonal flare-up, how good something will work is dependent on a lot of other factors. I'll try and answer as many of your questions in the comments as possible to help ascertain if this is for you or not.



**No affiliate links and I have not worked with Dr Lens since Dec 2013. 
Those of you that I know will ask - You will know what is in my Cult Beauty Box before this offer ends.
This is not in it.


HUGE VIKTOR&ROLF GIVEAWAY!!!


Good LORD. It's a good one peeps.

So Viktor&Rolf's Flowerbomb is 10 years old and to celebrate they are re-releasing some of their beautiful Limited Editions from past years for the Holiday season. You will find all of the above dotted around in retailers where Flowerbomb is available.

What you won't find for sale is the above globe showcasing all five of the available Limited Editions in one place.

No dear reader, this, you can only WIN here on my home planet.

To be in with a chance to get this beautiful globe and all FIVE of the above fragrances delivered direct to your door in time for Christmas day, simply enter via Rafflecopter below.

You don't have to do anything special, just leave your details. I'm leaving the giveaway open for a week and you can enter once a day.

In the meantime, this year's Limited Edition (pictured below) is available exclusively from Selfridges in Viktor&Rolf's 'Wish Upon A Star' installation on the following dates:

Selfridges London Oxford Street: in store today until Wednesday 2nd December 2015
Selfridges Manchester Trafford: Friday 4th December -  Thursday 24th December 2015
Selfridges Birmingham Bullring: Sunday 13th December – Sunday 27th December 2015


THANK YOU VIKTOR&ROLF. Happy Birthday Flowerbomb!

a Rafflecopter giveaway









Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Hall of Fame and the second reveal from the Cult Beauty Box



Choosing one product from Tata Harper for the Hall of Fame is like choosing a favourite child. You could if you really put your mind to it and it all depends on your mood on the day. ;) Calm down. I'm kidding. 
Kind of.

There will undoubtedly be another Tata product in the HOF before too long, but for today, and the box, I went with the Rejuvenating Serum.

Why? I hear you ask. Well: while the Tata cleansers could all hold their own individually in the Hall of Fame, it's much harder to be specific when it comes to adding a one-serum-fits-all into a workable routine.
Thus I plumped for the serum.

What is it?
'This award-winning, best-selling multitasking collagen treatment addresses multiple of ageing by delivering the benefits of 7 anti-ageing products in one serum.'

A great serum to tackle signs of ageing in all skin types.

Who is it for?
While it can be safely used across all demographics, I would go crazy if I caught Ava using this. She doesn't need it and it would be wasted. (Not that this has ever stopped her previously) Essentially all skins 30+ or younger if you have a busy lifestyle in the city/eat a lot of sugar/smoke/drink etc...
Anyone concerned with visible signs of skin that is not looking its best.

What’s in it?
Aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, Mangifera indica (Mango)  seed butter, Rosa damascena flower water*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Olea europaea (Olive) oil*, Galactoarabinan, Cetearyl alcohol, Glycerin, Carthamus tinctorius (Safflower) oleosomes*, Oryza sativa (Rice) extract*, Cetearyl olivate,  Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola) extract*,  Leuconostoc ferment filtrate (radish root extract), Sambucus nigra (Elderberry) fruit extract, Arnica montana leaf Extract*, Calendula officinalis flower Extract*, Spiraea Ulmaria (meadowsweet) Flower Extract*, Tilia europaea (Linden) leaf/flower Extract *,  Medicago sativa (Alfalfa) leaf Extract*, Lavandula stoechas (Spanish Lavender) extract, Narcissus tazetta (Daffodil) bulb extract*, Phoenix dactylifera (Date) seed extract, Menyanthes trifoliata (Buckbean) leaf Extract, Salix alba (Willow) bark extract*, Sodium hyaluronate, Sclerotium gum, Cetearyl glucoside, Sorbitan olivate, Soybean peroxidase, Superoxide dismutase, Sodium phytate, Natural alcohol, Aroma, Geraniol, Limonene, Farnesol, Eugenol, Citral

*Organic

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
essential oils

Natural/Organic/Man made/Vegan/GMO free/Fair trade/Gluten?
natural/partially organic/GMO free/Gluten free/vegan etc etc

Tested on animals/sold in China?
No/No - BUAV approved - and bunny symbol on packaging

What's not in it?
mineral oil
synthetic fragrance
parabens
sulfates
phthalates
animal derivatives
filler

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
Apply AM and PM under moisturiser. I take a couple of pumps on to my fingertips, apply all over the face and leave to absorb for a couple of minutes. Moisturiser goes straight on afterwards.

What’s good about it?
This is a great multi-tasking serum for all skins, but especially suited to those of us with a slightly older skin in need of some firming action. It's not quite an iron, but it helps. :)
It is loaded with the usual Tata green ingredients, including narcissus, galactoarabinan, gotu kola, arnica, rosewater, rice berry, elderberry and calendula. All in all, designed to be firming, softening, protective, smoothing, plumping and helping elasticity.

Vogue magazine called it 'life-changing' and Marie Claire magazine awarded it their  Prix D’Excellence de la Beaute award.

What’s not so good about it?
While I'm still not in love with the term 'non-toxic' on the packaging, green brands are huge in the US at the moment and I don't see that wording changing any time soon. I'm looking at the product behind the claim, and for me, it stands up, whether you eat it or not....

The Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum is £80.00 for 30ml and available from cultbeauty.co.uk.

It's also in my upcoming Cult Beauty Box which you can sign up for here: www.cultbeauty.co.uk/cult-beauty-box-caroline-hirons

Please note - there is no obligation on signing up to the box - you just get first dibs.

Word to the wise: the cost of the box will be less than the combined total of the two items already revealed - and there are 6 items in the box. 

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Hall of Fame - Darphin 8-Flower Nectar Oil and a Meet'n'Greet in John Lewis, Kingston


As much as I loved meeting Paula Begoun, it was when she said 'Don't even get me started on french pharmacy brands!' that I knew we would never be bonded by facial oils. 

If I could only pick one country from which to buy all my skincare it would be France. And Darphin would be in my Top 3 (ooh maybe a top brand by country post is an idea?). 
The hardest part of choosing a Darphin product for the Hall of Fame is keeping it realistic and not listing 5 straight off the bat. For this particular post, I also had the Intral range on my desk, and I've already added the Purifying Balm, the first product I properly fell in love with. 

In the end, dear reader, I plumped for the 8-Flower Nectar Elixir. If you are a teenager, this may not be for you. In fact if you aren't concerned about lack of elasticity, dullness, fine lines and surface dehydration, one of the other oils would maybe be better. BUT: if you smoke, drink, live in the city etc - and are under 30, I'd still look into this. ANYWAY: back to the basics.

What is it?
'Purifies and rebalances your skin overnight so that wrinkles and lines are smoothed, your skin feels plumper and your complexion looks revitalised and more radiant.

Who is it for?
See intro paragraph but essentially anyone concerned with signs of ageing. All of them.

What’s in it?
Jojoba Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides, Avocado Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Hexyldecanol, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Jasmine Flower Extract, Iris Pallida Root Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Phytosterols, Date Seed Extract, Cranberry Seed Oil, Olive Fruit Oil, Patchouli Oil, Helichrysum Angustifolium Flower Oil, Lavender Oil, Orange Flower Oil, Beta-Carotene, Rose Flower Oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Rosewood Oil, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Tocopherol, Sorbitan Oleate, Benzyl Acetate, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Benzyl Benzoate, Farnesol, Linalool, Geraniol, Citronellol <ILN40767>

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
essential oils

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
natural/vegan

Tested on animals/sold in countries that test on animals?
no/unknown

What's not in it?
mineral oil
synthetic fragrance

How do you use it?
'In the evening, apply five drops to face and neck'
That's great in theory, but this is an open neck so getting precisely 5 drops is harder than one might think. I tend to do a small 'dollop', like a 5p size - (dime for US peeps), therapist swipe, and massage into face.

What’s good about it?
It's just a really beautiful formulation that absorbs almost instantly, leaving no residue after application. Skin is plumped and glowing, fine lines disappear (if only for a while - obvs) and any products applied on top also seem to work brilliantly. Some people would have you believe that 'an oil is an oil' and that there are no differences between something like this and an oil you can buy from a health food shop. I politely disagree. The proof is in the processes. 
This refines, smooths, softens, increases suppleness and elasticity, restores vitality, and ultimately nourishes and moisturises.

What’s not so good about it?
It's £95.00. But: it should last between 9 months and a year if you use it a few times a week in the evenings.

Where to use in your routine?
P.M. - over serums and under moisturisers. Although you can obviously use this on its own, I'm a big fan of layering and this is great for 'sealing' the deal over an active, thinner, serum. I like a little moisturiser over this but that's more for how it feels than any huge added benefit.

8-Flower Nectar is £95.00 from Spacenk.com and £94.00 from JohnLewis.com (at time of writing)

If you watch my vlogs you'll know that I went to Paris with Darphin recently to check out their revamped Institut on Rue Saint-Honore. I wanted to do some prep work for what will be my last 'southern' meet-up for a while.


On Thursday 3rd December, I am going to be working in the beautiful new Darphin space (pictured above) in John Lewis in Kingston-upon-Thames. I'll be on counter from 5pm-8pm talking all things Darphin and skin. And basically just everything in-between.

Darphin are throwing in some added extras too:

  • With every two products bought on the day, you will receive an exclusive gift from Darphin.
  • A chance to win a bespoke selection of Darphin products (£200 value)
  • Complimentary Darphin Hand and Arm Massages
  • Darphin gift wrapping
  • Complimentary refreshments

I hope to see some of you there!

John Lewis, Kingston.
Thursday 3rd December
5pm-8pm (until they throw me out)




The event at John Lewis is sponsored by Darphin, my review is my review.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Hall of Fame and the first peek into the next Cult Beauty Box - May Lindstrom's Blue Cocoon


I won't lie. When May agreed to be in my third Cult Beauty Box I squealed a little. A lot. I squealed a lot. Every pot of Blue Cocoon is still made by hand and I can't believe that May agreed to GIVEMEALLTHEPOTSOFBEAUTIFULBLUE.

If you are a regular reader/viewer you will have seen this all over my social media and in a few videos - the links to which I will put below under the review.

So. If you're new to the blog or have not seen the videos and are not on social media, what is all the fuss about?

What is it?
A cooling, soothing, replenishing, strengthening and protecting concentrated balm, that happens to be blue.

Who is it for?
All skins, but especially those that show signs of irritation, dehydration, redness - I like the description of 'easily offended' skin types. :)


What’s in it?
Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, *** Butyrospermun Parkii (Shea) Butter, *** Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, *** Sclerocarya Birrea (Virgin Marula) Oil, Calodendrum Capense (Yangu) Oil, * Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Oil, * Tanacetum Annuum (Blue Tansy) Oil, **Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Oil, * Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, ** Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense) Oil, * Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Rose) Oil, * Vanilla Planifolia CO2 Total Essential Oil, Schisandra Sphenanthera CO2 Fruit Extract, * Helichrysum Italicum (Immortelle) Oil, Ravensara Aromatica Oil

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
The second ingredient is shea butter, so traditionally not to be recommended for acneic skins. However, this formulation literally turns to oil upon application and is extremely refined. In this case, I think the cooling and soothing benefits for the spots outweigh the possibility of breaking out. Speaking purely from my experience,  I have to be wary of shea in high doses and this does not break me out. At all.

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan? Fair Trade? Wild Harvested?
Organic. Natural. Vegan. Fair Trade. Wild-Harvested.
Couldn't be purer if it was made by Vestal Virgins eating kale and reading GOOP.

Tested on animals/sold in China?
No/No

What's not in it?
mineral oil
synthetic fragrance
synthetic colour
animal products

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
'Massage a pea sized amount into skin after cleansing'. 
This goes a long way, less is more. Go easy. Start with a small amount, leave for a little while and then add more if necessary.
I tend to use this on evenings (evenings only) when I'm either doing something really active to my skin - such as applying a retinoid, or on evenings that I want my skin to take a chill pill and calm itself down. It is always the first thing that goes on if I have been on an airplane. 
I scrape a little out of the pot - and a little goes a really long way - I am still on my one and only pot - onto my fingertips, massage lightly into the skin and then if it's being used on its own - 'give it some wellie' with the massage. 
If I'm using it on top of retinoids I tend to give my active products 10-15 minutes on their own, and then put this on top.

What’s good about it?
It's just lush. This is easily in my Top 10 products of all time. Possibly Top 5, but then I don't like to pick favourites. It's just too hard. 
May is really, really good at formulating beautiful products that don't compromise for cost purposes. The blue in The Blue Cocoon is blue tansy oil. No artificial colourings, no gimmicks, it's just blue.
All together, the oils in this balm are analgesic, anti-allergenic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antidepressant, antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, aphrodisiac (oo-er), disinfecting, diuretic - helping puffiness and they are a massive relaxant, which is why I only use it on the evenings. If I have work to do I cannot put this near my face. In the best way.

What's not so good about it?
It's not cheap. It's £128.00 for 50ml. Or $160.00. 

BUT: May Lindstrom's Blue Cocoon is in my third Cult Beauty Box - the Box of Dreams - which is literally what popped out of my mouth* when we decided on the final round-up. So you'll be able to get this and a host of other wondrousness....when it is released.

To sign up for the waiting list for the box click here


Tomorrow: another Hall of Famer and information on my last event of 2015. 








*Quote - 'Bloody hell this is literally my Box of Dreams'


HALL OF FAME WEEK


OK in for a penny, in for a pound as we say. Well, someone says that.

Here's the thing lovely readers. I am English. We don't do Thanksgiving. We do Harvest Festival. And that has been and gone. We donate a lot of cupboard goods to the school and church collection points and that is then distributed amongst homeless shelters. My family also have a large clearout and donate clothing and winter coats/toys etc pre-Christmas. It's good for the soul. You get what you give.

At no point in this process do we think 'Ooh lovely I'll have 50% off that Amazon deal as well thanks.'.

Having said that, I recognise that all of the online retailers that ship internationally have to 'keep up with the Joneses' and the Joneses, in this case, are their competitors in the USA and Canada. And who doesn't love a bargain?

However. There are plenty of bloggers already showing you where the upcoming offers are to be had.

I instead, would like to introduce you to my 'Hall of Fame' week and alongside that, sneak in a few peeks to my third collaboration with Cult Beauty by way of the luxury 'Box of Dreams' that launches 'soon'. I've been a bit tight with the Hall of Fame love lately and it's time to rectify that situation.

The first Hall of Fame entrant is up this evening. And it's in the new box. Later in the week there will be other offers similar to the Kate Somerville one last week, and further peeks to the box.

Don't spend all your money on that Paperwhite Kindle. Just sayin'. ;)

And for my family in Tennessee and Mississippi and my friends across the States and Canada....  


Saturday, 21 November 2015

VLOG WEEK TWELVE


Hi Everyone. If you're not on Instagram you may not know that I was in Iceland this week - it was spectacular. Thank you BioEffect for hosting us. And introducing me to Bea's hat, the star of the show.

See you next week. Have a great weekend!



Friday, 20 November 2015

THANK YOU!

Me, earlier, in the garden.

LOVELY PEOPLE! Apologies for not getting to the blog this week. Shameful behaviour. Thanks for your patience.
Tomorrow the vlog will go up - including my trip to Iceland with BioEffect - and then from Monday I'm shooting for a review a day. Until I run out of products or skin. Whatever happens first. I'm also planning this year's 12 Days of Giveaways, which if you are new to the blog, look like this: 12 Days of Giveaways

In the meantime, I'm going to put my feet up this weekend as the last few have been manic and thoroughly bereft of rest.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and here's hoping my friends in Paris spend it doing everything that makes Paris the spectacular city that it is. No fear. Much love.

CH x



La Mer Facial Winners


The Winners of the La Mer facial experiences are:

Urban Retreat, Harrods - Marlene Joergensen
The five regional winners are:
Lynne O'Neill
Christine Griffiths
Jessica
Siona McKay

You have email Ladies! Congratulations!

Thank you again La Mer. 

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Exclusive - Kate Somerville 30% discount offer


Wakey wakey rise and shine people! This week is Kate Somerville's Friends & Family discount week, where they are offering 20% discount across the board on their website, as most big brands do these days. 
Unless you're a reader of this blog. Yes, dear reader, if you are reading this, Kate Somerville are offering you 30% off your entire purchase from now, through until Friday Nov 20th at 11:59 PM PST.

THIRTY PER CENT.

For UK readers, the discount will at least cover some, if not all, of your import duties and shipping.

What would I put in my basket? Deep Tissue Repair, Nourish, Goat Milk face, CyctoCell eye cream, the CC Cream, the SPF 50, Clinic-to-Go pads.....TOO MANY CHOICES.

Simply enter HIRONS30 at checkout.


Please note:
  • I will probably be in the air or at the airport while you are reading this, if you experience any problems using the code please ask Kate Somerville directly - they have a great online/social team either via their website or on social @katesomerville 
  • I have no control over any duties or taxes added by your home planet  country.
  • To my knowledge this is open to anywhere 'The Somerville' (as she will now be known) ships. If that changes, I will adjust the above accordingly. 

Thanks Kate! 




*This post is not sponsored, I do not work with Kate Somerville. It's just a bloody good offer!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Kypris 1000 Roses and Moonlight Catalyst


A few weeks ago I met with Chase, the founder of Kypris, in Selfridges, where the brand have launched exclusively in the UK. 
Kypris is a high-end natural range that would not look out of place sitting next to Tata Harper or May Lindstrom on the shelf, except this is taken to the extreme. Don't be fooled or put off (as the English in particular tend to be) by the airy-fairy appearance. The product is extremely solid. I would go as far to say gorgeous. And it works. Which helps, obviously. :)

More importantly, they offer a night-time alternative to retinols for all you beautiful pregnant/breastfeeding ladies out there.

This is one of those rare brands where I could find a use for every product. I'm not joking. Based solely on the hand applications I did in the meeting, I asked for a bag for Ruth, Lily and Anna (who I was meeting up with afterwards). I wanted to share the love. 
For the sake of getting something up here for you to join the party, I honed in on two products, the Moonlight Catalyst and 1000 Roses, but this will not be the last you hear of Kypris on this blog. 

I thought I'd give an overview of the brand, then mini reviews on these particular products and explain why they were standout for me.

If you like your products vegan, natural and organic, but do not want to compromise on results, this is the brand for you. 

Their claims are extensive:
  • vegan
  • wild-crafted
  • organic
  • local
  • cruelty-free
  • clinically proven
  • co-op grown
  • sustainably sourced
  • from small farms
  • synthetic free
  • women-owned farms
  • no petroleum anything
  • 100% natural & nature derived
  • certified sustainable

There are three serums, three elixirs - which are essentially more oil-based, and a body product. If you saw my original Instagram post, you will know that there was a little confusion over the pricing. By confusion, I mean that the US/UK conversion didn't add up, so I queried it. You can always expect to be punished financially when a brand is made on the other side of the ocean/world - basically outside of your home country. That's just simple economics and it's the way business works.
If however, you saw the original pricing and were put off, as I know a lot of you were, come back to the fold! After I nagged spoke to Selfridges and the brand, they reviewed the situation and they have substantially altered the pricing and it makes much more sense now. I talk more about it in this video:


ANYWAAAYYYYYYY. 

ONTO THE PRODUCT.

Overall:

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
Purer than the driven snow

Tested on animals/sold in China?
No/No

What's not in it?
see above list - my favourite part is obviously 'no petroleum anything' 


1000 Roses

Who is it for?
Combination/hormonal or dry/dehydrated (ideally, although in reality anyone could use it)

What’s in it?
Helianthus annuus (Sunflower Seed) Oil, Cocos nucifera (Virgin Coconut) Oil, Vitis vinifera (Grape Seed) Oil, Adansonia digitata (Baobab) Oil, Aleurites moloccans (Kukui) Oil, Calophyllum inophyllum (Tamanu) Oil, Curcubita pepo (Pumpkin Seed) Oil, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Opuntia engelmannii (Prickly Pear Seed) Oil, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Extract, Rosa damascena (Rose) Oil, Hippophae rhamonides (Seabuckthorn Berry) Extract, Punica granatum (Pomegranate Seed) Extract, Rubus occidentalis (Black Raspberry Seed) Oil, Vaccinium macrocarpon (Cranberry Seed) Oil, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate (From Licorice), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C Ester), Rosamarinus officinalis (Rosemary Leaf) Extract, Non- GMO Mixed Tocopherols

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
None of the traditional aggravators. No fragrance at all. 

How do you use it?
'Apply 2-3 drops onto the skin' - I tend to do 5 and get it straight on to the face for massage - it's too expensive to mess around with - it can obviously be layered either over or under moisturisers/other products. 

What’s good about it?
Besides the 1000 roses in every bottle, it's loaded with Kaneka CoQ10, a huge antioxidant that also aids discolouration (pigmentation) and contains a vitamin c ester - making it much more stable and effective because it absorbs quicker. It's a beautiful product. The appearance of glowing, healthy skin is immediate. It soothes, hydrates, softens and leaves no sticky residue. If you had to choose between this and a super high-end serum from most department store brands (outside of my usual favourites), I'd look into this one.

What’s not so good about it?
It's £175.00 for 50 ml or £75.00 for 14ml. The price is reflective of the ingredients, but it will obviously price it out of the market for a lot of you, I know. If you're older, maybe try the smaller one and see if you think the results are worth it, before indulging in the larger size.

Where to use in your routine?
Anywhere depending on am or pm. Over serum, under moisturiser. AS your serum, on its own. Any which way you can.

1000 Roses is available from £75.00 at Selfridges.com or from $90.00 from KyprisBeauty.com


Moonlight Catalyst

Who is it for?
Everyone - but especially 'Environmentally stressed, experienced ( a really nice way of saying mature), acneic, or imbalanced complexions'.

What’s in it?
Water/Aqua, Glycerin, Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Fruit Ferment Filtrate, Xylitylglucoside, Sclerotium Gum, Algae, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, sh-Oligopeptide-1,  Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Flower Extract, Vigna Aconitifolia Seed Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Extract, Prunus Domestica (Plum) Fruit Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Water Extract, Hydrolyzed Fucus Vesiculosus Protein, Sodium Chloride, Trehalose,  Sodium Levulinate, Maltodextrin, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Anisate, Sodium Citrate 

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
No

What's not in it?
Vitamin A/Retinols in any form

How do you use it?
In the evening only, straight after toning, as you would a retinol. Anything else can follow. I would use a moisturiser or another Kypris Elixir on top as this is water-based and can take oil on top of it. 

What’s good about it?
I like that it has an original take on an evening product, an area that is so overwhelmed with retinols/vitamin A products. This is a heavy hitting serum. Fermented pumpkin enzymes are more effective but less irritating than AHAs, they're softening and decrease the signs of stress on the skin, including redness.
sh-Oligopeptide-1 is EGF, a powerful protein that binds to cell receptors and activates and accelerates cellular proliferation (speeds them up, airs them out). It also accelerates and promotes skin healing, increases the rate of skin renewal, and slows down skin thinning, which won't bother you if you're 25, but if you're the other side of 40, you'll know what I'm talking about. This is completely plant-derived, it's not the original human-cloned recombinant EGF.
The price. This is 47ml for £56.00. Think about the amount of overnight products that are 15ml, 30ml for a similar price, if not more. For the ingredients involved here, it's absolutely worth you looking into. You don't get ingredients like this in 'corporate' brands. Independent brands don't have to answer to shareholders about cost of goods, they are driven solely by passion for the product, not profits. They invariably add more expensive ingredients. Think Zelens, Lindstrom and Tata for starters.

What’s not so good about it?
If you are wary of EGF, whether it comes from barley or e-coli in a petri dish, you will still want to avoid this. I added EGF to my routine a while ago after BioEffect responded so positively to my post with thinking and research to reassure me of the difference between recombinant (human) EGF and biomimetic (plant) EGF.

Where to use in your routine?
After toning in the evening, underneath anything else.

Moonlight Catalyst is 47ml in size, £56.00 and available in the UK from Selfridges here and in the US for $72.00 from KyprisBeauty.com here - frankly it's a bargain for what it is.

N.B. Selfridges sold out online of Moonlight Catalyst after my Instagram post and it is still not showing as available. Maddening. I tried to warn them but to no avail. Apparently there is 'plenty' on the way. I'll flag up as soon as I hear.

More info on the brand here - it's currently available in Canada and Australia also, but I don't have that pricing.


*Worth mentioning I do not work with Kypris in any way, although I would consider breaking my 'no more skincare brands' rule because the products are the dogs bollocks. And this is not a sponsored post. And Selfridges, get your arse in gear please.








Sunday, 15 November 2015

Empties - November 2015


IT'S A BIG ONE. It's been a long time since I did one of these - I've kept it as short as possible! As requested, the links to the products mentioned are now below the video here on the blog as well as on the YouTube page. Where the products are not readily available in the UK, I've linked to the US - they don't always ship, but I've tried to find ones that do where possible.


Cast (in order of appearance):

Original Source in Lime - http://bit.ly/1N4UgjR

Fresh Sugar Lemon Body Lotion - http://bit.ly/1j1YvyE

Rahua Shampoo & Conditioner - http://bit.ly/1HMjEIU

OI Condiitoner by Davines - http://bit.ly/1QoXiQn

Jonathan Green Rootine Conditioner - http://bit.ly/1HRu7gN
(always out of stock and hard to find – sorry!)

Fekkai Glossing Cream - http://bit.ly/20UP0n3

Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion - http://bit.ly/1N4VtI0

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter in Sweet Citrus - http://bit.ly/1NxXZ3O
US only. Not available in the UK at the mo – loads of options on Sephora though, and they ship.

La Mer The Body Crème - http://bit.ly/1N4WjED

Kate Somerville Nourish Moisturiser - http://bit.ly/1j205Ao
US only – but ships to the UK.
Tata Harper Restorative Eye Cream - http://bit.ly/1QoYEe2

Kate Somerville CytoCell Dark Circle Corrective Eye Cream - http://bit.ly/1HRvpIA

Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist - http://bit.ly/1QEMmgJ

SkinCeuticals AOX Eye Gel - http://bit.ly/1QoYVgM

Estee Lauder Double Wear Brow Lift Duo in Blonde Brown - http://bit.ly/1kxPsHp
They come up dark. Forewarned.

Pureology Fortifying Heat Spray - http://bit.ly/1NxZ5fY

Emma Hardie Moringa Balm 200ml - http://bit.ly/1N4Xm7s

Big Sexy Hair Conditioner - http://bit.ly/1kxPYVU
I bought 2 for $21 – offer is still on.

Garnier Intensive 7 Days Body Moisturiser - http://bit.ly/1X0pkk7
They’ve reformulated and repackaged – this is the one though.

Shea Moisture Tahitian Noni & Monoi Body Wash - http://bit.ly/1j21g2O

Shea Moisture Tahitian Noni & Monoi Body Lotion - http://bit.ly/1j21J53
US only. Boots.com only sell the hair products. The crazy fools.

Alberto Balsam Sesame Oil & Peach Conditioner - http://bit.ly/1Oa2zb8
Currently 2 for £2 in Asda.

OGX Anti-Breakage Keratin Oil Conditioner - http://bit.ly/1H39nI9

Essence of Beauty Citrus Coconut Body Lotion - http://bit.ly/1H39p2K
US only.




Some (not all) links may be affiliates.
See my full disclaimer here:
http://bit.ly/1rpEmSq

Saturday, 14 November 2015

VLOG WEEK ELEVEN - GROUNDING THE KIDS, RANTING AND NO PASSPORT


Well it looks like I didn't leave the house all week. Next week I'm off to Iceland amongst other things so there will hopefully be fewer breakdowns, less ranting and no lost passport *packs passport now*.

Have a great week everyone.



Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Where are the reviews?

Hi lovely people.

Quick update: my desk/office space is currently non-existent due to the new bookcases being built. The house is in complete disarray and I am struggling to find space to work on the blog - taking pictures etc is just impossible at the mo.

My Empties video is still to come but I am away tomorrow so it won't be before Friday/Saturday. I also have the Kypris, Chanel Hydra range and other long-for promised reviews to come. They are coming. Swear. Pinky swear.

I'm literally living in a building site. Hopefully all back to normal shortly after the weekend.

Thanks for your patience!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

What's New? November


I know there's all these YouTube 'rules/guidelines' where you're supposed to post frequently/regularly etc but I am enjoying posting these videos up in bulk. And also - if you save up your empties/newness/favourites there's tons of them when it comes time to post! YAY!

Thursday is Empties and then the vlog at the weekend. See you soon!



Monday, 9 November 2015

Favourites - October(ish) 2015


I know I know it's been forever! Favourites first, then newness, then empties!

There is a massive list of everything featured in the video in the description box underneath the video. If you are watching through the blog, click 'Watch on YouTube' in the lower right corner.

Enjoy!


Sunday, 8 November 2015

VLOG WEEK TEN - XMAS FAIR AND CRUE


Hi Everyone!

Thank you for watching. The three long-promised videos will - WILL - be up this week.

All links and information on this week's shenanigans are in the description box underneath the video.

Have a great week!

Cx


Friday, 6 November 2015

Creme de La Mer The Renewal Oil #spon

 

To celebrate the launch of their first oil, (frankly, it's about time) La Mer asked me to put together my top tips for how to use this luscious newness.

What is it?
'A highly renewing new elixir. This dual-phase elixir blends bubbles with Miracle Broth™ and sea-sourced actives, unleashing a wave of activity to infuse skin with a look of youth.'

Basically - and finally from La Mer, a highly active serum/oil that can be used on face, body or hair.

Who is it for?
Everyone, but obviously you will see more benefits from this if you are 30-40+

What’s in it?
'What isn't in it?' is more appropriate.
meadowfoam seed oil, dimethicone, caprylic triglyceride, water, trisiloxane, sweet almond oil, jojoba seed oil, polydecene, hydrogenated polydecene, butylene glycol, propanediol, glycerin, algae extract, rapeseed seed oil, sunflower seed oil, sesame seed oil, eucalyptus leaf oil, camelina sativa seed oil, cranberry seed oil, olive fruit oil, hippophae rhamnoides oil, alfalfa seed powder, sunflower seedcake, sweet almond seed meal, sodium gluconate, copper gluconate, calcium gluconate, magnesium gluconate, zinc gluconate, tocopheryl succinate, niacin, sesame seed powder, laminaria ochroleuca extract, laminaria saccharina extract, hydrolyzed algin, sea salt, chlorella vulgaris extract, salicornia herbacea extract, st. pauls' wort extract, laminaria digitata extract, rosemary leaf extract, magnolia officinalis bark extract, yeast extract, crithmum maritimum extract, commiphora mukul resin extract, lime peel extract, molasses extract, sucrose, acetyl hexapeptide-8, acetyl glucosamine, caffeine, tocopheryl acetate, phenyl trimethicone, sodium chloride, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, alcohol denat, fragrance, hexyl cinnamal, linalool, amyl cinnamal, geraniol, limonene, citral, benzyl benzoate, coumarin, citronellol, bht, phenoxyethanol, yellow 5 (cl 19140), yellow 6 (ci 15985), <iln41590>

How do you use it?
A multitude of ways. 
Although it can be used on the body and in the hair, frankly, this is going on my face and staying there.
  • After cleansing and toning in the evening, apply a few drops of the Renewal Oil to your face, massaging in gently. Take the Serum Massage Tool and follow the angle of the chin front to back in a slow methodical fashion, moving up the face and finishing with the round end of the tool gently pressing out from the inner brow to the temple. The oil and the tool combined stimulate micro-circulation and help to reduce puffiness while you sleep.
  • After cleansing, apply the Intensive Revitalising Mask all over the face. Add a thin layer of the Renewal Oil on top, sealing in the mask and it’s nutrients. Go to sleep!
  • Add a couple of drops of the Renewal Oil to your morning moisturiser before you apply for a beautiful, golden sheen that lasts all day without ever looking oily.
  • When flying/travelling - add a layer of the Renewal Oil between your Concentrate and Soft Cream for enhanced protection and hydration. Renewal Oil will ‘seal in’ the moisture and help prevent the dehydration that inevitably follows long-haul flights/travel.

Where to use in your routine?
In the morning, on top of serum, under moisturiser. 
In the evening, either repeat the above or use on its own.

What's good about it?
This oil is loaded, loaded with actives. I’ve always been keen on ingredients in skincare that you can take as supplements, especially magnesium and zinc, because I know they have helped my skin in the past. Equally, anything sea-related is amazing for the skin, as I’ve discussed before here.
Putting all of this into one bottle is no small feat but La Mer have done it without making a product that is too sticky, or too fragranced, something that a lot of luxury brands fall into the trap of. Strong smell does not always equal high performance chaps.
The Renewal Oil is hydrolipidic, comprising of both water and oil, meaning it gives immediate relief to a dehydrated skin, while also being the perfect companion to an added moisturizer on top.

The Crème de La Mer Renewal Oil is £155.00 for 30 ml and is available from cremedelamer.co.uk and all La Mer stockists.
To add a little extra to any purchases you can use the following codes when placing any orders through the Crème de la Mer website (you can use all three!):

HIRONS1 - Free Illuminating Eye Gel sample
HIRONS2 - Free Soft Cream sample
HIRONS3 - Free Gel Cream sample

To spread the joy of the long-awaited oil hitting the shelves, La Mer are offering readers of this blog the chance to win their own bespoke La Mer experience.

One reader will win the chance to experience the 90 minute Miracle Broth Facial which is available exclusively in the UK at Urban Retreat in Harrods.  (RRP £190.00).  The winner will have a personalised skin care consultation and there will be 'surprises' on the day. 

‘The crème de la crème of facials transforms with bespoke massage techniques and a pure infusion of our coveted Miracle Broth™. Exclusive to Crème de la Mer spa treatments, this priceless extract supports the five facets of renewal – moisture, regeneration, soothing, smoothing and radiance – helping bring skin back to its centre. A special ice sequence seals in benefits. Urban Retreat is one of the few salons in the world to offer this facial.’

As if that wasn’t enough, 6 Runners-up will also have the chance to win.

Six readers have the opportunity to win a Customized Facial, (1 hour, RRP £100, redeemable) which is available at one of the 6 flagship doors around the country. These will be performed by one of the top La Mer therapists.  Again, there will be surprises on the day.

Crème de La Mer offer the customised facial in:

John Lewis Oxford Street
Harrods
Brown Thomas Dublin  
Harvey Nichols Leeds
Fraser’s Glasgow
Howells Cardiff
Harvey Nichols Leeds
Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar Liverpool
  
TERMS & CONDITIONS (please read carefully):
Winner must make their own way to their chosen venue. Crème de La Mer and Caroline Hirons will not pay travel expenses.
Enter via the Rafflecopter link below.
Open to UK and Irish readers only.
One prize per winner.
Winners will be chosen in first come, first serve order. You must leave your preferred location when prompted by the Rafflecopter widget. I will work my way through randomly until each city has been chosen.
By entering this giveaway you are agreeing to being signed up to La Mer emails.
You can enter once a day.

Thank you La Mer!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



*Sponsored content in partnership with Creme de La Mer.