Photography via Youtube/Caroline Hirons

Caroline Hirons’ Voice Keeps the Beauty Industry in Line

“If someone sits in front of me, they’d better know their shit.”

In a world where fake news is increasingly a threat, we can count on Caroline Hirons—or at least the beauty world can. Though sometimes referred to as a blogger, Hirons has extensive credentials that put her in a league of her own: She has worked in the beauty industry for decades, in both retail and consulting, and is also a facialist. On her website, which she started in 2010, she dispenses skincare advice that is straight to the point (and a little bossy—but in the best way) and product reviews that are strikingly honest. It’s an approach that has amassed her a substantial following in her native England and abroad. Her approval can also result in sales: Because she is so discerning, a ringing endorsement from her can mean a product will sell out when her readers descend to stock up.

But it’s not just Hirons’s own kind of candour that is drawing in numbers. Truthfulness has such currency right now, and she believes that that’s why the small indies are stealing market share from the corporate behemoths. “They talk to people; they don’t patronize them,” says Hirons, who points out that since social media provides direct access to brands, how (or if) one responds to customers can “make or break you.” And the fact that many of the biggest companies still don’t include their full ingredient lists on their websites is unacceptable to her. “That, to me, is arrogance—which will be the end of them, if I’m being honest,” she says.

Despite her unending willingness to throw out barbs—and perhaps her slight enjoyment of it?—Hirons is adamant that she doesn’t “search for the negative” and that she “loves the industry.” When she questions a brand, it comes from a good place, and she truly feels it is her duty to take care of people’s skin. (To wit: She says to stay the hell away from any skincare products that contain glitter. “It’s a trend driven by people who don’t give a shit about your skin,” she says. “And you can quote me on that.” Oh, we will.) In the end, it’s people like her who will make the beauty world a more honest and accountable place. “If someone sits in front of me, they’d better know their shit.”

Check out the latest from Caroline Hirons in the video below: