A pioneer of organic skincare and a beauty industry maverick, Sharon is a passionate believer in the power of products made with 'clean, safe, environmentally-aware' ingredients to calm down and nurture skin that is suffering from an overdose of modern stress and aggressive skincare.
Why a guru?
Sharon started out as a conventional beautician, but after beginning to make her own, very natural products (at first, to help a client who was allergic to ingredients derived from petrochemicals, which were hard to avoid in skincare in the early 1990s) she gained a reputation for healing skin plagued by intractable issues such as eczema, allergic dermatitis or rosacea. Her own, organic-and-natural skincare range, MV Skintherapy, followed and Sharon boldly follows her own path. She is guided by what she has observed rather than what everyone else is doing, despite the fact that speaking her mind about cosmetic ingredients that she views as toxic left her, as she puts it, very much on the periphery of the beauty industry. (At first, that was; now, she is getting the recognition her work deserves.)
Why I love her
On paper, you wouldn't think Sharon and I would get on, me with my fondness for retinoids and glycolics and other types of active skincare, not to mention lasers and peels and whatnot, and her with her abhorrence of all that - she has seen the damage it can do. I have learned to wear sunscreen day in day out. She thinks that is mad and, because she is a forthright northerner whose blunt-speaking has only been made blunter by decades in Australia, she says so to anyone who will listen. But after we were introduced by our mutual friends Jo Fairley and Sarah Stacey at their Beauty Bible awards (Sharon was visiting the UK and picking up yet another award for the fabulous products in her MV Skintherapy) she invited me for a facial and we got on like a house on fire.
Celebs love her too
That facial - a long, nurturing session involving deep breathing, some magic potion of a face mask and fabulous massage of my back, shoulders and scalp as well as my face -- was one of the best I have ever had; I can see why people like Emma Watson queue up for it...
And then there's her skincare
...while Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley are sworn fans of Sharon's MV Skintherapy. The three products above are some of her heroes - you can find out more about them on her website. I love them and use them when I've overreached myself with the high-tech active skincare. I particularly like her Jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is very similar in composition to human sebum, the oil that our skin produces naturally, so it sits very easily in the skin; two drops, spread over your palms then pressed carefully all over the face makes a nourishing and calming night-time treat. My favourite product of all is her Hand Rescue - a lovely, well-absorbed cream for hands and cuticles - with its addictively fabulous smell that combines calendula, rosehip, sandalwood and benzoin, so that each pump of it is a little take-a-moment treat. You'll have to try it to see what I mean.