I have long been a style stalker of Carolina Herrera Jr, daughter of the eternally chic Carolina Herrera. I'm a big believer that when it comes to style less is more, and she for me, epitomises effortless, understated glamour.
As for beauty, neither is Carolina afraid to rock a red lip or experiment with an up-do, but always executes it in an enviably 'thrown together' kind of way. Here she talks exclusively to Get the Gloss about skin creams, her beauty style and small yet perfectly formed CH handbags...
You launched a new bag for CH Carolina Herrera a bit earlier this year. The colours are amazing - what inspired them?
The Mini Matryoshka was inspired by the colours of the Carolina Herrera 2012 Spring/ Summer
collection - canary yellow, emerald green, mint green, taupe, red and white. It's a smaller, more feminine size of the Matryoshka Bag, £260. Call 0203 441 0965
Which beauty products do you keep in it?
Who for you has amazing style?
For me it's Marie Chantal of Greece and Rosario Nadal
What are your personal favourite pieces of clothing of all time?
An old Carolina Herrera plaid cape and my wedding dress.
What beauty tips did your mother teach you that you follow?
Don't put your face in the sun, wash your face with freezing cold water, always wear blush and touch
of colour on the lips.
What do you keep on your dressing table?
Photographs of my children and my dogs, my everyday creams and make-up, my comb, some earrings, CH L'Eau perfume from £42 0207 494 6220, and a little figure of St Anthony.
What is your skincare regime?
I use sunscreen, Chanel's Sublimage La Creme, £240 www.debenhams.com
and organic coconut oil from Whole Foods. I wash my face with a product called Green Tea by Casmara, a non-soapy wash (unfortunately GTG thinks it's only sold in Spain).
How do you destress?
I go to the movies alone, have massages, a manicure and pedicure at home, read, play Tetris or Packman, take a long drive, listen to very loud music, go to a Bikram yoga class or go for a run or walk by myself.
How important to you is beauty style?
In my opinion, the simpler the better. I am not very high maintenance and like to be able to do my own hair and make-up.
Which products do you use in your hair?
Moroccanoil, from £12.85 www.feelunique.com on just-washed hair is pretty much the only product I am consistaent with.
What are you bathroom essentials?
Body creams, which vary - anything from good old fashioned Nivea to Annick Goutal's Creme Splendide Corps, £59 www.escentual.com, my latest perfumes (CH L'Eau, CH Men Sport), the tester bottles of the new fragrances I'm working on, Korres Jasmin wash, £8 www.bathandunwind.com and coconut oil that I use for everything (body, face and hair).
How do you stay healthy?
I try to work out 3-4 times a week. Although I actually don't crave it or love it, it does make me feel better in the long run. I have a trainer twice a week that make it very hard for me to cancel and I do either Bikram yoga or run for 40 mints the
other two days. I am pretty lucky and I eat everything. I love food. I try to do a 5 day cleanse once a year, usually in the summer.
What are you on-the-go beauty essentials?
5 beauteous things I've been up to recently...
1. Going for Golden
True beauty junkies won't have missed the buzz this week about James
Read's new self tanning range. The only self tanning expert in the UK, Read spends his life bronzing some of the most beautiful bodies in Britain such as Rosie Huntington-Whitely in the Burberry Body campaigns and virtually every golden beauty on the red carpet.
Over the last few days I've been experimenting with the range. My favourite product by far is the BB Gradual Tan Face pen£22.50, which develops into a golden glow in a hours and has a brush on the end so won't stain your fingers. I'm also a fan of Gradual Tan for Body in Medium, £24.50 which develops into a beautiful soft bronze. I found the dispenser for the Liquid Tan in Medium, £24.50 is a bit basic (splatted the bathroom floor in the process), but nonetheless I went to bed pasty and awoke with flawlessly bronzed pins and wore a short t-shirt dress and bare legs the following day as a result. Harvey Nichols and www.qvcuk.com
. (PS I'm being tanned by the golden man himself this week, so I'll report back.)
When things get you down (the weather?) my little trick is to add a bit of colour into my day - it's amazing what a colour therapy jolt can do for your mood.
At this time of year I love the colour geranium - this vibrant coral red looks amazing against bronzed skin. My favourite geranium essentials for this summer are: No7's Stay Perfect Lipstick in Gay Geranium, £10 Boots.com
, Clinique's Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Oversized orange, £16 clinique.co.uk
, and TopShop Nail Polish in War Paint (left) £5 www.topshop.com
3. Sporting Trainers (outside of the gym)
Forget Jesus sandals and cutesy ballet flats, it would appear that trainers are having a major fashion moment. Not any old trainer will do however - this is not about wearing your running shoes to
work - the louder, brighter and generally more nuts the better. Hi-tops have been around for a while but they're just getting better and better. I recently bought a pair of Nike for Liberty Hi-tops , £74.99 (right) www.office.co.uk
, but I'm also going to have to blow the budget on a pair of Nike Dunk High Premium iD shoes www. store.nike.com/gb
. Why do I love them so? Because you can personalise the fabric, colour and laces. Amazing.
4. Recharging my skin
I've long been a fan of Darphin - in my humble opinion, this botanicals based brand is hugely underrated
and has many gentle yet effective products with some of the most exquisite scents in skincare. Their new launch , Vitalskin, doesn't disappoint. Like rehab for worn-out skin, it's targeted at women between the ages of 25-45 (moi) who feel their skin lacks vibrancy (moi encore), and contains a combination of botanical extracts (Sapindus Mukorossi and Laminaria Digitata if you're interested) which activate energy in the skin, replenishing it throughout the day and reducing signs of fatigue. I've tried it over the last week and so far, so radiant. In a study of 59 working mothers aged between 25-45. after just 7 days 63% said their skin was full of vitality, after 28 days 96% said the same.
5. Having a Brazilian
Nope, I'm not talking about down below topiary. I'm talking about another type of bush taming - my hair. For the last year I've been having Brazilian blow-dries on my mane (think Nicola Kidman in Days of Thunder - if you don't believe me, check out my first blog post). The treatment involves a 2 hour treatment where a keratin-packed product is smoothed onto hair, blow-dried in and ironed straight. You then leave this in your hair for 4 days (expect your hair to stick to your head like Gollum), but when you do wash it out the effects are nothing short of miraculous. It knocks out all frizz without making it poker straight, and cuts drying time down by half (15 mins instead of 30), and lasts for me until it grows out. I have tried a few and the best I've had is at Toni &Guy in Banbury (my local town). Go to www.toniandguy.com
to find your nearest salon. My concern however is that apparently all Brazilian blow-dries contain formaldehyde. If anyone knows an effective one that doesn't please email me at email@example.com
Fitting it in
I recently decided to get fit. I don't just mean visiting a gym once a week and giving it up after 3 weeks like I've done since I was 21, I mean properly fit. It all came about because I was absolutely knackered - exhausted by work and life with two small children and I was looking for something to give me more energy. In brief three things happened:
1) Having not exercised for years, I read Run fat Bitch Run by Ruth Field, a must for exercise-phobes (you don't have to be fat BTW to follow it). It REALLY REALLY inspired me to get moving.
2) Having read Run fat Bitch Run, I started running (or shuffling) - there is a lane right outside my front door and I decided I no longer had an excuse not to go down it. First tie I went out I only got half way down it.
3) Then I met Steve Mellor, head of personal training and nutrition at www.freedom2train.com
whose company moved into our offices in London. As a result I am now exercising about 4 times a week (sometimes 5!) which is a HUGE deal for me. I'm feeling a million times more energised, stronger and way more efficient as a result and whilst ten weeks ago I couldn't run 200 yards, at the weekend I ran 5.2 miles!! (The .2 is very important by the way - it nearly killed me).
I'm a big fan of Freedom2train for many reasons. a) They train outside in London parks rather than pounding a treadmill in a stagnant gym, b) they make exercise fun (yes I had no idea the words 'fun' and 'exercise' could co-exist in the same sentence either), and c) they are about creating a long, lean, toned body not Madonna-style muscles.
If you don't want to pay one-on-one prices, they have also introduced some BeachReady body group sessions in London parks this summer which promise to deliver bikini-buff results fast. Go to www.freedom2train.com
to book in. Sessions start at £5 if you bulk buy but the first taster session is free.
And another thing....
Apologies I haven't managed to get any blogs out to you recently. I am working with two other amazing beauty industry professionals to bring you a much bigger, all-singing, all-dancing version of Get the Gloss which will be launching a bit later this year. It will be full of the best talent, experts, news and information in the beauty and health industry. I feel very privileged to be working on such an exciting and ground-breaking project, so watch this space....
Next time in GTG...
Next week: Mud Sweat and Tears... the exhilarating highs and excruciating lows of getting fit. My goal is to run the Royal Parks half marathon (13 miles!!!) in October for Kiss it Better, an amazing charity raising cancer in children at Great Ormond Street.
PS If you're on Twitter, please follow my beauty and health mutterings @getthegloss