Gill Meets Kirsten Carriol
Since we launched Lanolips in the UK in 2010, the brand has won many awards; what has been your proudest moment?
There were two moments that really stand out – winning the UK CEW Award for Best New Brand and Best New Skincare Treatment product in 2011 was an amazing moment, it felt really like a moment of relief after seven years of hard work. I was jumping on my trampoline at midnight in Sydney!
The other proudest moment was the very first email I received from a happy customer in my country, Australia. Someone that my products had helped, when nothing else could.
Creating and launching a brand is notoriously difficult, what lessons have your learnt along the way?
Where do I start ? Seriously there are just so many. I have learnt to listen to people with experience, choose great people to have around me, make decisions more carefully, trust less, but most of all you must have such a passion for your product and love for it, because when the going gets tough (and it always does) it is the passion and love for it that pulls you through. Corny I know, but the amount of work that goes into things, you simply couldn’t do it otherwise.
What have you been doing for the past year?
Two new things this year have kept me busy – Banana Balm (more on that below) and my wonderful new packaging for my products which was a collaboration with Australian Artist Sarah Hankinson. Bringing the old and the new together, showing the richness of the brand heritage, and making the products better quality on the outside for the customer was lots of fun. I feel like the outside now matches the quality of what’s on the inside.
We have just launched your new product, Banana Balm, what is the story behind the product?
This is a 3-in-1 product. It started while developing a ‘weekender’ balm with more of a noticeable sheen and lip lustre, which you can wear on its own or on top of a lipstick. I wanted something you could throw on when you are in your weekend clothes going to get your Saturday coffee – so your lips look and feel glowing and healthy, but you don’t want to look like you’ve tried too hard to make yourself up when the rest of your face is bare. Something gorgeous, glowy, but effortless. Then I tried adding 1% more beeswax (not too much!), but it gives the balm a more unctuous and marshmallow like feel, acts as a heavier duty lip protectant and keeps it on the lips longer, which is great for cold windy days, skiing, running, or just all-day moisture. Its 50% lanolin so still super hydrating as well. It’s a lip lustre & sheen + intense lip conditioner + lip protectant in one.
The Banana is there for a few reasons – firstly its been a great emollient in skincare for centuries, plus it’s high in potassium as we all know, so the health benefits of a banana are given. One of the main reasons I have loved banana since I was a kid, was that it simply made me happy. I call it ‘Nature’s Happiest Fruit’ – it’s even shaped like a smile! So I also added natural Banana extract for ‘a hit of happy’. I also refer to this balm as ‘Happiness in a Tube’. If you like bananas, you will not help but be given an instant ‘hit of happy’ when using Banana Balm – it’s that gorgeous natural banana-y smell to really pick you up, it’s amazing how a happy smell can change your mood.
I am guessing that your hero product is the original Lanolips 101, if this is the case, what is your second hero product from the range and why?
101 Ointment will always be my hero. My second hero would have to be Golden Ointment, which is kind of like the 101 but for much larger areas – like legs, arms and hands. We also added Manuka Honey for its healing benefits. I have had the most magical feedback on this product daily, from completely healing grazes on my own sons face in five days, to heartwarming feedback from men and women going through Chemotherapy, and the relief it has given their sensitive and super dry skin during their brave journey. It’s a wonder !
Your top tips for using Lanolips products?
- A thick layer of 101 Ointment before bed every night and you will never suffer chapped lips.
- Rub Golden Ointment between your hands to warm it up, and then apply a fine layer of Golden Ointment to any itchy dry skin, arms, legs, and overnight your skin will be transformed.
- Never scrub your lips as it will damage them and make them worse – use a citric acid (like Lemonaid Lip Aid) to naturally break down dead skin instead.
What are you currently working on?
Four new gorgeous lip treatment products, a new lip colour and a new gorgeous cream.
Lanolin. I couldn’t love it more. What does my Father, who has been (and still is) a Professor of Genetics for 50 years – still at the forefront of scientific & cellular research use – Pure Lanolin (mine, of course).
The future for Lanolips?
More of what we do best – the best, most hydrating, ethical, natural and intense lanolin based lip and skin products in the world ! Keeping the brand true to its heritage and continuing to produce world class quality at affordable prices, so everyone can afford the best.