I've known Kirsten since I was a Beauty Editor at Cosmopolitan magazine and she was a PR for a beauty company whose name I can't remember (aka a really long time ago). We went through a stage of having tempura oysters and mashed potatoes for dinner washed down with my favourite drink at the time, a Kir Royale. How things have changed. Since then, we both moved on in our careers - Kirsten had her own successful beauty PR company - and we eat more sensible dinners.
Recently, Kirsten launched a fabulous lip product on the market called Lanolips which, if you haven't tried, you simply MUST. It softens, it colours, it moisturises, it gets rid of dry ANYTHING. And I'm not just saying that because I know her. It really is amazing, plus it has no nasty phthlates, parabens, petroleum or sulfates - if you're a regular reader of this blog you'll know I'm absolutely anti-chemical. The range has expanded to include hand cream and body products and the lipbalm has won awards in the UK. She's always been a fabulous dresser and a regular on the social circuit, so I sat down to see how this mother of two (oh yes, AND she's a mum) got to be so stylish and inspirational.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO START LANOLIPS? WAS THERE A PARTICULAR MOMENT WHEN YOU THOUGHT "I CAN DO THIS"?
It was on my honeymoon, on the way to the airport in Paris to return home, and I was dreading the flight ahead and the drying effects on my lips and skin. It was then I realised that after 10 years in beauty and trying anything and everything, that nothing had worked as well as the lanolin my Dad used on us when we were kids.
HOW DID IT START AND HOW DID THE COMPANY PROGRESS?
It took six years to perfect. The brand was born in 2003, but it wasn’t until 2009 that I was finally able to really take the ‘product to The People’. We are now in Hong Kong, UK, Australia and we ship orders all over the world. I also have another few big secret developments boiling away this month.
WHERE DO YOU HOPE TO SEE LANOLIPS IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
We have been approached by 22 different countries, and I would love to continue to open up more countries, but there is no rush. If the opportunity is right we will do it. If its not, we will wait. This is a business of passion, not expansion simply for the sake of it, and Im lucky not to be under any pressure to grow too fast, or with the wrong partners.
BIGGEST HIGHLIGHT FOR LANOLIPS SO FAR?
Winning a major UK CEW Beauty Award last year – BEST NEW BRAND, voted by the Industry, and my peers. And every day I get a happy email from someone who my products I have helped, I am equally as chuffed.
WHAT KIND OF WOMAN LOVES LANOLIPS?
Clever, savvy and time poor women, who don’t have the time nor the patience for multiple-step beauty routines and products that claim magic, yet deliver nothing.
I get loads of emails from lawyers and accountants!
Kirsten with her husband Jean-Marc Carriol
MY VERY FIRST FASHION MEMORY WAS ...
In Grade 4 – my favourite green and white checked gingham dress with shirring across the breast and puffed sleeves. I remember a girl saying to me ‘you wear funny clothes’, but I didn’t care, I was soooo happy in that dress, I felt fabulous!
MY FASHION JOURNEY STARTED WHEN ...
I stumbled across UK Marie Claire and the 16 year old Kate Moss.
I LOOK MY BEST IN ...
Leather pants. Ooh la la!
MY STYLE UNIFORM IS ...
Jeans, tee and a blazer. And one of them being a statement piece (not all at the same time).
MY MOST FABULOUS FASHION MOMENT WAS:
The white Valentino suit I was married in, in the South of France.
MY FAVE PLACE IN THE WORLD IS ...
Sydney in Summer and Paris in Winter
MY STYLE ICON IS ...
My mother for her natural grace, my husband's grandmother for making everything she wore look expensive, and my mother-in-law for her hand-me-downs (thanks Julie).
MY FAVOURITE DESIGNERS ARE ...
Australia – Willow, Josh Goot & Banjo & Matilda are my cashmere basics.
International - Yigal Azrouël, Carven, Alexander Wang, Prabal Garung.
MY LAST BUY WAS ...
A fluoro orange tweed Willow Jacket
KEY PIECES EVERY WOMAN SHOULD OWN ...
Perfect fitting jeans in a denim, white and black.
Every woman has a different body, so only you should choose your own brand.
A fabulous sharp blazer, and easy tee’s.
And one pair of painfully chic sunglasses.
SEXIEST THINGS A WOMAN CAN WEAR:
Short dresses & leather.
FIVE THINGS I'M LUSTING AFTER THIS SEASON:
Coloured mirrored sunglasses (but I think I’m too old for them)
A Charlotte Olympia perspex handbag.
A red Valentino ‘anything’
The perfect cream blazer
Dion Lee shirt
ON SATURDAY NIGHTS I'M BUSY …
Having champagne with friends, relishing in our newfound ‘grown up’ lives, families, careers and fabulous friends.
MINISKIRTS OR SHORTS?
SKINNY LEG OR WIDE LEG JEANS?
BIKINI OR ONE-PIECE?
BALLET FLATS OR TRAINERS?
PENCIL SKIRTS OR FULL?