Friday, 29 April 2016

Random Round-Up No.2

Hi All!

Another week - some Instagram newness for you below amongst other updates..

Kate Somerville Official Goat Milk Statement (file under - 'things you never thought you would type'):
"We added Natural Milk Proteins to provide enhanced skin barrier function to better address the needs of those with sensitive skin.  This new formula is also clinically tested safe for sensitive skin."


A lot of you have asked if the new formula would still be in the Hall of Fame - I don't know yet is the answer (but I really hope so). I'm just working my way through the older formula and will keep you posted.


This is a brilliant super affordable body moisturiser if you're dry. Dive in. Although it has nothing to do with Norway. Odd.


Do not buy this. That is all. Forms into a rock hard square shape and pees out a little water when you try and squeeze it out. I would bin it, but it's so bad that I'm saving it for a video so you can see what I mean.


Bobbi Brown's Bali Brown Illuminating Bronzer and Charlotte Tilbury's Bronzer brush are my new addictions.


This poor love took a right bashing on Instagram for it's packaging. The upshot is that I absolutely LOVE the formula and get compliments on my skin whenever I wear it. The downside is that a great many of us find it impossible to get enough out of the dropper. Although a few readers gave us tips that had been passed on from the BB teams across counters, honestly - if you have to explain how to use a foundation bottle it may be time to rethink it no? However, formula is ace.


Chanel newness is LUSH. Very much-needed and wanted extensions to the Hydra Beauty range including the eye cream (not pictured), a lotion/essence and the Flash which is gorgeous. REALLY gorgeous.



MAC Vibe Tribe is out Mid-May and is perfect for summer skins. Well, unless it's still SNOWING in summer. Yes. It snowed today in London. 29th April. WTH?


Bobbi Brown Beach Glow Sun Kissed Pink Eye Palette was one of my most-liked pictures - you ladies do like your eyeshadows :) and these are perfectly pigmented.



Votary released a beautiful luxury gift box of flannels (face cloths) and I have more gorgeous newness to show you from Votary next week. LUSHNESS incoming.


My most-used brow pencil from Studio 10 now serves as a fundraiser for Look Good Feel Better - great news, great product. More info here: http://bit.ly/1neJlZL 


Viktor & Rolf have released BonBon in a Hair Mist. Yes it smells as good as you expect it to. 


I finally got around to really road testing the Drunk Elephant Serum that so many of you are obsessed with. Review to follow.


That Laura Mericer Body Cleanse in Tea Menthe Citron is THE perfect morning WAKEUP call.

No vlog this week - too busy with loads of work that is mostly for clients and thus confidential - will keep you posted - more blog posts coming though so YAY!


The Body Shop Skin Defence


When The Body Shop released the Vitamin E SPF this week, I did an audible 'about TIME'. Well they've already brought another one out, and it's only Friday. :)

This new Skin Defence is SPF50 PA++++ and superbly formulated to be really light and almost water-like upon application. Used after moisturiser and under foundation, it's non-greasy and leaves no greasy film or residue. 

Out May - £16.00 for 40ml. More details to follow.

The Vitamin E SPF is already available here: TBS/VitEspf £14.00 for 50ml.













Thursday, 28 April 2016

NeoStrata Smooth Surface Daily Peel Pads


What is it?
'A daily home use peel is expertly formulated at an effective pH using a NeoStrata-developed delivery system for gentle yet optimal skin penetration.'

Aka - acid toner with a kick

Who is it for?
All skins but particularly oily/acne and sun-damaged, mature and/or dull.

What’s in it?
Aqua (Water), Glycolic Acid, Alcohol Denat., Ammonium Hydroxide, Arginine, Acetyl Tyrosinamide, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin

What's not in it?
Parabens
Fragrance

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
Alcohol
Chlorphenesin

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

Tested on animals/sold in territories that advocate testing?
No/unknown (will confirm if I find out)


How does it smell?
Fragrance free

How does it feel on the skin?
Mild tingle, nothing unusual for acid

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
NeoStrata recommend PM use only, after cleansing.

How long before you should see results?
Obviously it depends how long you have been using acids, so either immediately or over a short period of time - but acids are generally quick.

How long did I test it for?
A few months

How much is it? /Size/Approximate cost per usage?
£47.00 - £50.00 depending where you purchase - 36 pads so approx £1.30(ish) a pad.

What’s good about it?
NeoStrata are a professional brand only available through clinics and every product is backed up by a clinical, not consumer, trial.
These pads are the complete antithesis of something like the Juice Beauty pads previously reviewed here. The set comes with the liquid in its own bottle and the pads are dry and ready to be soaked, meaning it stays completely sterile before use and then the pads are well and truly soaked when you empty the 'juice' into the pads container.
The pads contain a 10% concentration of glycolic acid along with amino acids delivered via a patented system called Aminofill, amino acids basically being the building blocks of collagen and thus helping to smooth out the lines and wrinkles. These really do 'start' your routine once your face is clean.

What’s not so good about it?
They're not cheap, but the price is basically the only negative if you have budget concerns. This is by far the best acid packaging I've seen thus far. It's SO satisfying emptying the liquid onto the pads and shaking them around.

Works well with?
Any serum you follow this up with will penetrate better than without using an acid - but in all fairness you can say that about a lot of acids - that's rather the point of them.

What’s the website like?
This is where there is room for improvement. The downside of brands only being available in professional clinics/spas is that the websites are usually non-transactional and lacking information, and sadly, like Biologique Recherche and SkinCeuticals, this is the case with NeoStrata in the UK. The 'Where to Buy' page doesn't work for me, so I can't even help you with a few London addresses. Don't let that put you off though. There's a phone number. Call them and ask where you can buy because the products are brilliant. Properly brilliant. The exception to the website 'fail' is the 'Heritage' page, which goes into good detail about how the brand started, and why they lead the path in many ways.

Similar products?
Zelens PHA+ Pads
Dennis Gross MD Acids
Kate Somerville Clinic-To-Go Pads
Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Pads


NeoStrata Smooth Surface Daily Peel Pads are approx £47/50.00 and more information on where to buy can be found here in the UK: www.neostrata.co.uk along with an online stockist here: askinology.com/neostrata

and here in the USA: www.neostrata.com - the USA website is good.

And if you are outside the UK and the USA go here: www.neostrata.com/restoftheworld


Serozinc 50ml



Head's up! Serozinc has just come out in a 50ml size - and it's on discount on Escentual.com right here: www.escentual.com/larocheposay

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Vlog 26

Hi All,

This week's vlog is up. Not sure when the next one will be. Work is busy and I want to focus on the blog rather than vlog for a while. It's been ignored lately - and although that was unavoidable, I don't like it. The blog is still my main outlet and I want to prioritise it.

All links to everything mentioned are in the description box below the video once you click through to YouTube.





Not a sponsored post. I use affiliate links (not always). Full information can be found here: http://www.carolinehirons.com/p/about-me.html

Friday, 22 April 2016

Random Round-up No.1

Hi All.

I know I haven't been around much but wanted to keep you up to speed and answer some of your comments on my various social sites and thought this was the best way to start doing that!

New client - May Lindstrom
I’m thrilled to announce that I have just started working with the fabulous May Lindstrom and her equally beautiful brand. May has been largely a one-woman-operation from the start, and as she selectively expands her presence in the UK (about time!), I'm jumping on board to help ensure that her commitment to excellence is shared in the most intimate way possible on this side of the world. We are both VERY excited about the possibilities here - and I can't wait to dive in. May is expecting her second baby in September (Congratulations!) and it feels like the perfect time to join her small team.
We both want to share our evolving relationship in full transparency - there is a business element now that hasn't been there previously. This said - I will of course continue to talk about her products because the big love of those came first, and ultimately led to us wanting to do more together. But - I will add a disclosing statement at the bottom of any post on here just to keep things clear. My opinions are still strongly my own, (I know you expect no less) and the main disclosure page linked at the bottom of every post has been updated to reflect this change.  maylindstrom.com

Kate Somerville Goat Milk
I have both the old cream and the new formulation - I have asked KS if they want to comment on why they changed the formula and they're sending me a comment early next week. Will report back.

Teresa Tarmey
I finally got to Teresa's gorgeous new space in Notting Hill, which is lush, and well worth a visit if you're in the area. It's all in next week's vlog. www.teresatarmey.com


Teresa was obviously there, as was Dr Sam and a whole host of far trendier people than me. I shot off early as I'd been out of the house since 8am.



The Body Shop*

It was so lovely meeting so many of you this week in Birmingham, London and Brighton. I had a great time and the Body Shop were as always, lovely hosts.
I had a lot for requests for visits to other cities and we are working on something. As always I'll keep you updated.

Serozinc wins at CEW
Serozinc won 'Best New Skincare Treatment Product' at today's CEW Award and frankly that's down to you guys. If L'Oreal aren't saying 'Thank You' - I will. Good job chaps. Customer demand always shouts loudest!
This is what I'm on about if you're unsure: www.boots.com/La-Roche-Posay-Serozinc-Spray

kikki.k 


Stationery addict Londoners: the kikki.k pop-up in Covent Garden is well worth a visit. Details here: www.kikki-k.com

goop
I'm still working my way through the products but I can tell you now that the night cream may be too rich for you if you're acnaic, but for the rest of you, it's sexytime. More info here: goop.com/goopskincare - that's not an affiliate link - which I only mention because my sources tell me when goop sell anything they take a nice fee. Interesting no? ;)

Knomo
If you haven't heard of Knomo bags and you travel for work and own a laptop/ipad/400 chargers et al, you may want to check them out. I have a few, and moaned at tweeted them earlier this week with some feedback (essentially - why are the majority of the really lovely girl's bags 14in? - I have a 15in macbook). The upshot is they have invited me to their showroom and frankly, I'm not leaving until they make us working-travelling-big laptop owning-women the bag we deserve. :) More info here: www.knomobags.com


And finally:

This affected me much more than I ever expected. Prince got me through those horrible teen years when I played 'When Doves Cry' on repeat and then in later, happier years when I perfected the Sheena 'walk-on' from the U Got The Look video. I got to see him live but sadly my kids didn't. So much of my life is tied up in his music and I still can't believe he's gone.

The NFL won't let you embed this video but this is the master at work: youtu.be/superbowl  - treat yourself. 













*These events were sponsored by The Body Shop (obviously).

Not a sponsored post. No affiliates. Full information can be found here: http://www.carolinehirons.com/p/about-me.html

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

VLOG 25 - DOWNING ST & QVC


Hi Everyone,

Apologies for the radio silence. Vlog 25 is now up. Hope you enjoy. :)


This week involves Downing St with Ruth, going backstage at QVC and dental surgery from hell. And no, I'm not exaggerating. 




See you next week!











No sponsorship or affiliate links.
Full information can be found here: http://www.carolinehirons.com/p/about-me.html

Friday, 15 April 2016

Microbeads update - The Body Shop and Johnson & Johnson respond


Thank you for the great response to yesterday's post on microbeads.

After the post went live, there were a few questions raised on social media about other brands including The Body Shop.

The Body Shop sent me this statement this afternoon:

'In 2014 we made a commitment to replace these ingredients with a naturally-derived alternative during 2015, which we fulfilled. The materials that replace the polyethylene micro beads are either natural or naturally derived and biodegradable.'

This from beatthemicrobead.com in 2013 would further back that up: beatthemicrobead.org/the-body-shop-removes-any-plastic-material-from-their-products



Johnson & Johnson also responded last night with the following:

'In 2013, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies Inc. became one of the first companies to commit to removing polyethylene microbeads from its personal care products globally. Our goal is to remove microbeads from our products globally by the end of 2017, having met our 2015 commitment and now having alternatives available to our consumers. As always, our goal is to choose ingredients that are safe and environmentally sound and provide consumers with a great experience.'


I'll keep you posted with any further updates.




Not a sponsored post. Links may be affiliates. Full information can be found here: http://www.carolinehirons.com/p/about-me.html

Pixi's first Hour-Long Show on QVC


Public Service Announcement!! ;)

Pixi have their first full Hour on QVC this Sunday evening at 6pm. If you want to get your hands on your own Limited Edition 500ml Glow Tonic like the one above (don't worry, yours won't say 'Caroline' on it!) along with a whole host of other items including some of my favourites (at special prices) that you will already be very aware of, tune in to QVC on Sunday find out more.
I will be causing mayhem Instagramming from behind the scenes on the day.

Pixi Beauty are on-air on Sunday 17th April at 6pm with the lovely Catherine Huntley and as always, the brilliant Amanda Bell. 

More info here: www.qvcuk.com/TVGuide











*Pixi Beauty are one of my clients in the UK. No affiliate link.
Further information and my full disclosure can be found here: http://www.carolinehirons.com/p/about-me.html

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Marie Claire @WORK Live



On Saturday 23rd April I will be talking at the Marie Claire @WORK Live event in Central London. I'm on a panel talking all things blogging and am really looking forward to it. The event promises to be for 'all career-focused women, of any age and from any industry, looking for inspiration, advice and skills to advance your career, change direction or set out on your own.'.

More information and tickets can be found here: www.marieclaire.co.uk/atworklive

Hope to see some of you there!









Not a sponsored post. CH is receiving no fee for this event. No affiliates. Full information can be found here: http://www.carolinehirons.com/p/about-me.html

Microbeads in products

Photo courtesy of beingcontent.com

Having previously being led to believe that the EU was all over the microbead issue, I've today found out that the exact opposite is the case.
There are currently no plans to ban the use of microbeads in Europe, unlike the USA, where President Obama signed a bill banning microbeads in December 2015. This means that brands that retail in the USA will have to make quick, sweeping changes in production as manufacturing is banned from mid 2017 and the full ban comes into effect two years later. Canada is also banning them.

If you are unaware of microbeads and what they are, there is a wealth of information online but in short they are the tiny plastic beads used in toothpastes and scrubs (face and body) that are basically polluting the waters and messing with our sealife.
In short, we wash them down the drain, they get into our waters and fish/birds/whales/sealife in general mistakenly eat them. We then eat the fish, although the beads of plastic are deemed 'safe' for human consumption. (Erm, ok then?)
Not great for the environment or sealife. And this is why the EU aren't concerned. It's an 'environment' issue, not a 'public health' issue.

Microbeads are proven very safe for topical human contact so obviously for that reason are found in products across all price ranges from Neutrogena (a LOT), Olay and Aveeno to Clarins, Clinique, Kate Somerville, Bliss and Dermalogica , just to name a few. I found over 500 products using a simple search for 'microbeads' and the ingredient names.

US brands will now have to make the switch asap - let's hope they don't stick all their excess 'plastic' stock on a boat to retail in Europe, where apparently, the EU don't mind the damage they do.
I imagine most of it will turn up on the grey market via 3rd party sellers on Amazon/Strawberry.net/eBay etc.

The UK government may not care but I do, and I think you, the consumer, does to. I won't be reviewing anything that contains microbeads on here and I would imagine my fellow bloggers feel the same way.

And for you the customer? The two words you are looking for on packaging are: polyethylene and polypropylene. Avoid. Hit the brands where it hurts. With your wallets.


More info:
www.greenpeace.org.uk
beatthemicrobead.org




*Updated 9pm - Johnson & Johnson contacted me today to reiterate the following:
'In 2013, Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies Inc. became one of the first companies to commit to removing polyethylene microbeads from its personal care products globally. Our goal is to remove microbeads from our products globally by the end of 2017, having met our 2015 commitment and now having alternatives available to our consumers. As always, our goal is to choose ingredients that are safe and environmentally sound and provide consumers with a great experience.'


*Updated 15.04.16 - The Body Shop sent this response to reassure their customers.

'In 2014 we made a commitment to replace these ingredients with a naturally-derived alternative during 2015, which we fulfilled. The materials that replace the polyethylene micro beads are either natural or naturally derived and biodegradable.'

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Alpha-H Beauty Sleep Power Peel with 0.5% Retinol - Beauty Pick of the Month on QVC


Ooh I almost missed this one - just a heads-up for you Alpha-H fans. Those of you that love a bit of acid AND retinol - this launches on the high street officially next month at £55.00, but QVC have it for another couple of weeks at £39.96.

I've only just received mine so haven't had enough time to play with it properly, but anything that involves PM usage, acids (this is 14% glycolic), retinols and Alpha-H is usually worth checking out.

QVC don't list incis as a rule but I found them on TVSN - as I know some of you will ask. ;)

Aqua, Glycolic Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg 100 Stearate, Euglena Gracilis Extract, Potassium Hydroxide, Ceteath-20, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Stearic Acid, Hydrolyzed Wheat Flour, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Carrageenan, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Parfum, Polysorbate 20, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Retinol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Panthanol, Gluconolactone, Allantoin, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium Edta, Sodium Hyaluronate, Maltodextrin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Calcium Pantothenate, Xanthan Gum, Tanacetum Annuum Flower Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Urea, Magnesium Lactate, Papain, Ethylhexylglycerin, Calcium Gluconate, Alanine, Magnesium Chloride, Proline, Serine, Sodium Citrate, Limonene, Linalool


More info here: www.qvcuk.com/alphaH




Not a sponsored post. Links may be affiliates. Full information can be found here: http://www.carolinehirons.com/p/about-me.html

New Appearances - The Body Shop


I'm back on the road this month - first up with The Body Shop. Next week I'm in Birmingham, London and Brighton - more details of which and how to get tickets can be found here: www.thebodyshop.co.uk/tickets 
Hope to see some of you there.

I have other events happening so will reinstate the 'Appearances' page and update it. :) See you soon!










Events sponsored by The Body Shop. No affiliate link. Full disclosure information can be found here: http://www.carolinehirons.com/p/about-me.html

Monday, 11 April 2016

6 Year Anniversary and my biggest ever Giveaway


SIX YEARS! I can't believe the time has gone so quickly, but yes, six years ago, so dismayed was I by the constant talk of cleansing wipes on twitter, that I sat down to rant about not cleansing properly and here we are 1123 posts later. Double cleansing, acid toning and Sunday Facials are thankfully now terms used by any and everyone but wipes are still selling by the bucketload. They're still on my shitlist. I'm not giving up. :)

To celebrate, and frankly, to get me back in the swing of things again after an 'interesting' few weeks (more of which on this week's vlog and this blog in coming weeks), I wanted to say 'Thank You' by offering a one-off, huge, special giveaway.

One lucky winner, worldwide, will win every product that has become synonymous with this blog over the last six years and every product that has ever been put in the Hall of Fame. 

So obviously, the prize will include:

Biologique Recherche P50
Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak
Emma Hardie Moringa Balm Cleanser
Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream
Darphin Purifying Balm
La Roche Posay Serozinc
Sunday Riley Good Genes
Anne Semonin 100% Active Serum
First Aid Beauty Facial Pads
Clinique Take The Day Off Balm
Jane Scrivner Nourishing Cleanser
Illamasqua VOW Pencil
Michael Kors Liquitan Self-Tanner
Alpha-H Liquid Gold
The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter
Hydraluron
Pixi Glow Tonic
Neutrogena T-Gel
Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex
Zelens Z Luminous
Darphin 8 Flower Nectar Oil
Estee Lauder Revitalising CC Cream
Chantecaille Just Skin
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb
May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon

If you think of anything  obvious that I have missed, please do let me know in the comments and I will add it in if appropriate.

*Thank you for the suggestions but I don't think tea, Dettol and Tena Lady pads are worth sending around the world?! :)

Please read the T&Cs below very carefully, and enter via Rafflecopter below.

THANK YOU FOR READING MY LITTLE CORNER OF THE INTERNET FOR SIX YEARS AND BEST OF LUCK TO YOU ALL!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


T&Cs:
  • One winner, one prize
  • No cash alternative
  • Open Internationally
  • You can enter once a day
  • Proof of shipping will be provided, but CH cannot be held responsible for customs or shipping delays once it leaves my care.
  • Please note that not all items are suitable for International shipping so if you live overseas it is highly likely that your prize will not include things like Serozinc or Flowerbomb.
  • No alternatives will be offered in the case of prizes being unable to be sent Internationally.
  • CH cannot be held responsible for the shipping/customs laws in your country.
  • The shipment will most likely be split into a few parcels for ease, but that is to be decided.
  • Once the winner is announced and notified via email, you have 24 hours to claim your prize or I will pick another winner.
  • Winners will be chosen completely at random by Rafflecopter on 1st May 2016.
  • God help the postman.


This post is not sponsored and the prize will include products gifted by the brands and my own purchases.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

I'm back! And a little update.


Hi Loveliest of People.

Thanks for your lovely comments and patience while I took a little break. Had some surgery (nothing bad, all good) and then we took a quick sunshine break with the small (actually not so small) offspring.

Feeling refreshed and ready to rumble. Have loads of blog/video ideas and lots of work to catch up on but the bigger news is that I'm going back into treatments. More info once things are confirmed but rest assured as soon as I know, you'll know.

In the meantime, there will be more reviews and Cheat Sheets on here, and the vlog will be back on Monday/Tuesday (depending on wifi access).

Hope you all had a lovely Easter break. See you soon. :)