Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Absolution - A Cosmetic Revolution





Unable to find a cosmetic brand bespoke to her specific needs, Isabelle Carron had her light-bulb moment: an organic brand that would be more effective than conventional ones, with more soul and modern formulas. Not a small feat! Meet the woman who made it happen.

What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
Difficult question because I enjoy almost ALL the things I’m doing for Absolution. Let’s say the best part for me is all about developing new products: get the idea, think about the ingredients and formula, doing some research, discuss with the lab and Christine, the chemist, about the sourcing, evaluate all the tests, then decide which one will be THE one. That’s for the cosmetics side, but we have also to find the right packaging – and it’s more difficult than you think: the design of the primary and secondary pack, write the texts, etc. This part is the natural follow up of my former job as creative director and general manager when I was in the communication and design field.

I also like a lot to meet customers and stores: it’s always interesting and rewarding to find out what they think of the products, which one is their favourite, how they use it (mix & match it or not …or not always), what is the next product they’re waiting for, if and when I could improve something. Last, and not the least, I enjoy travelling very much! It’s pretty new for me, but it’s a pleasure to discover new countries, cities, and people, thanks to Absolution.

Highlight from the last 5 years of your company
I started about … 6 years and a half ago... May 2008. As a Creative Director, I made my “career” in Global Advertising - I often had to work on beauty accounts throughout my carrier... As a woman, I hadn't fallen in love with a brand as a whole... Some products were good here and there, but there wasn't the kind of range and brand I was looking for. I started to use organic cosmetics 7 years ago, and I my skin really changed in less than 2 weeks. That experience convinced me that organic skincare was really better for the skin (and health) but moreover was also more efficient than traditional cosmetics. I also strongly believe in the philosophy that the skin is a living ecosystem, a communication interface always balancing to be at its best according to various information: external (weather, pollution, heat, AC...) and internal (diet, smoke, sleep, moods etc...). Therefore it doesn't need the same care every day! There is no cosmetic brand that offers the possibility to treat our skin daily according to its very specific needs. Finally, I thought that the aesthetics of the organic brands were not modern enough. I was looking for more than just that.This is why for me there were a real place on the market for a new proposition, with more spirit and soul, with a great quality and organic high standard, daring to speak differently to people ready to go organic but not willing to go for it by giving up on pleasure of all senses... I tried to ally all these things in a brand, and Absolution was born...
Then, in 2009, we launched the brand the Beyond Beauty Fair and we won the favourite Jury Award …a very good start as you can imagine. 2010 is the year of the design awards … the one we are the most proud of is the Wallpaper Design Award, but we won also more than 8 awards in the cosmetic field with L’Observatoire des Cosmetiques. From 2010 till now we’re focused on development: new products, new countries, find the right partner in each, develop new protocols and prepare our bright future !


What’s a typical day like?
I’m running all day long ! Starting with a warm glass of water with lemon juice, then a short session of Pilates at home, duration depending if I’m already late or not …let’s say between 10 and 30 minutes. Then one, two, three, four …espressos and a hot shower, always finished with very cold water. Then find the fine outfit for the day, few minutes to discuss with my children if their still at home, then go the office. Meeting, meeting, design, calls, emails… usually a professional or friendly lunch, sometimes one of y children is coming to lunch with me. Every day I try to save a little time to work on ‘consistent ideas’ for Absolution … I mean to think about, and work on the future of the brand and what it should be next year… but it’s pretty difficult to abstract yourself from the going.
I work pretty late, as I must confess I’m not really an early bird…so I usually leave the office around 9pm or sometime much later … if I’m not going out…what I’m doing very often.


What is the best advice you’ve ever been given
« You learn how to walk by walking ». Each time I’m tempted to wait a little too much before to do something because I think I need more preparation or training or time or…whatever, I remember this sentence. Combined with my very high standards, it makes a good mix that allows me to move forward.

What’s next for Absolution?
So many ideas … for this year new products of course, the kind of you can bring under shower with you, or the one you’ll fall in love with each evening … but also a very new concept where you’ll be able to experience the brand as never before. But for this one …you need to wait a little more.

What are your everyday beauty essentials?
Back to basics!
- ALWAYS remove your make up and perfectly cleanse your skin before going to bed.
- ALWAYS put – at least a moisturizing serum or an emulsion on your BODY and FACE every morning.
- Never expose directly your face to the sun without protection – I mean Solar protection or a hat. Don’t need to be obsessed by the sun but is not a true ally. You need it …for your health and to stay in good mood, but it’s a challenge for your skin! So remember to use La Solution+ Energy to help your skin to run it, and protect yourself.
- Eat a lot of vegetables and fruits and 2 handfuls of nuts and seeds every day.

Favourite food
I LOVE food, but I’m more into healthy and simple food than into too complicated one. I used to eat a lot of meat few years ago but now, it’s only in my menu few days a week. I think my favourite food is nuts and seeds…I’m a squirrel!
I’m doing the cooking very very often and I love that …try expanding my childrens’ taste!

What will you be doing this season?
LOVE, SWIM, READ, THINK, COOK, PLAY.
Such a good program...Located in the south of France and Italy!

Shop here for: Absolution Skincare, from £15

Saturday, 28 June 2014

The Summer Essentials Kit is here

We are delighted our exclusive Summer Essentials kit is finally here. This 12-piece set is a curated selection of our favourite natural and organic beauty products all perfectly sized for travel and presented in a limited-edition beauty bag. This is also the perfect festival companion or to try before you invest in full size products.

What's in the Kit 
The Summer Essentials Kit contains products worth £30::
Hurraw SPF15 Lip Balm, 4.3g: A creamy lip balm with 10% non-nano zinc oxide to give your lips the extra protection they need.
Skin Blossom Caring Hand Cream, 75ml: A rich but easily-absorbed organic hand treatment cream that leave hands and nails beautifully soft.
Green People Sun Lotion SPF25, 20ml: A water resistant sun screen that provides a high level of UVA and UVB protection.
Green People Sun Lotion SPF15 Tan Accelerator, 20ml: 3 layers of sun protection in one - UV protection, antioxidants & tan accelerator!
Dr Bronner Liquid Soap Citrus, 59ml: A multi-use 100% natural and biodegradable castile soap with a refreshing citrus fragrance.
Elemental Herbology Cell Plumping Facial Moisturiser SPF8, 15ml: A lightweight yet ultra hydrating daily moisturiser.
Weleda Cleanser & Toner, 10ml
Caudalie Divine Legs Tinted Body Lotion, 5ml: Gives your legs an instant sunkissed glow.
Caudalie Divine Oil, 3ml: Multi-use miracle oil for body, hair, nails, etc
A'kin Lemongrass Shampoo, 8ml: A mild and refreshing natural shampoo for daily use.
A'kin Leave-In Conditioner, 8ml: A gentle natural conditioner for daily use.
Lavera Calendula Mattifying Balancing Cream, 1ml: Protects your skin and boosts hydration. 


Shop here for: Naturisimo Summer Essentials Kit, £14.95




Sunday, 22 June 2014

Bloom & Blossom - Behind the brand





Bloom and Blossom Skincare for mother and baby

Bloom & Blossom: MINIMAL INGREDIENTS = MAXIMUM RESULTS

Bloom & Blossom is a premium skincare range for new mothers, mothers to be and babies formulated using the minimum number of ingredients to achieve maximum results as well as being free from animal testing, parabens, SLS, phthalates, artificial colourants, synthetic fragrance or petrochemicals. Here we catch up with co-founder Cristina Moss.

So tell us a little bit about your own history and experience, and what sparked your interest in natural beauty? 
I have had a passion for business from a young age, taking my first steps as an entrepreneur aged 14 when I set up my first business selling homemade jewellery at craft fairs and market stalls. I have always been a big beauty junkie, but my passion for natural beauty was sparked by starting a family and wanting only the purest products available.

And how did the idea for Bloom and Blossom come about?
I set up Bloom and Blossom with my sister-in-law when we spotted a gap in the market for a maternity skincare range that was completely natural, safe to use, delivered the same exceptional results as premium non-maternity beauty brands and looked super stylish on shelf.

Pregnant and new mums really do care about what they put on their skin; they want to understand the ingredients, know that they work and most importantly know they are safe. At the same time they want indulgent, solution focused and stylish products that are also competitively priced. From this Bloom and Blossom was born!

What have you found to be the most challenging part of setting up and launching Bloom and Blossom?
Managing to create good work/ life balance is extremely challenging when you run your own business, especially with a toddler running riot! The key for me is loving the job I do. Working late nights and weekends is more than worth it when we see the direct results of all our hard work – from amazing customer feedback to our products looking great on shelf.

There are lots of brands on the market. What do you think sets yours apart from the others?
Our brand philosophy of MINIMAL INGREDIENTS = MAXIMUM RESULTS is what makes us so different. Our products contain the fewest number of ingredients possible (ranging from 5 – 15 in total) to deliver exceptional results. Each product features a unique numerals design that states how many ingredients are in the product, what each ingredient is, why it has been selected and what it delivers. Something clear, simple, sophisticated and natural.

Also being The Duchess of Cambridge’s maternity brand of choice is a pretty unique attribute!

If you had to choose, what’s your favorite Bloom & Blossom product?
It has to be our Soothing Nipple Balm – it doubles up as an amazing lip balm and I keep one in every handbag.

What is your top maternity beauty tip?
Its an obvious one, but invest wisely in one or two really effective anti stretch mark products  - remember stretch marks are much easier to prevent than cure. Other than that, try and put your feet up above heart level as often as you can to reduce swelling. And I always say a spray tan goes a long way in making you look and feel great – especially when you’re pregnant.

Are there any plans to further expand the existing range?
Yes! We have purposely kept the Bloom and Blossom range compact to ensure each and every product we create is developed individually with the attention to detail required to create something exceptional. We have been working hard on the new collection and have some fantastic new products in the pipeline. I cant reveal all of them, but I can tell you our fabulous fragrance-free baby wash will be hitting the shelves in time for Christmas!

What is your career mantra?
We have a poster in the office that says “Work Hard and Be Nice To People” - I think that pretty much sums up my career mantra!

Who do you admire, and why?
I am still in awe of all our amazing Olympians and Para Olympians and the inspirational sporting legacy created in the UK following the Olympics last year. Makes me very proud to be British!

If you could treat yourself to one thing this month, it would be....
A spa weekend at Whatley Manor and a huge bag of Pick & Mix sweets!

Shop here for: Bloom & Blossom