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Nina Blackmore talks about her journey to empowerment.

Today we had the pleasure of talking to Nina Blakemore. She's gorgeous in so many ways. Nina is a strong, inspirational woman, we feel very privileged to have had the chance to get her advice on maintaining femininity whilst unapologetically pursuing your goals. Are you ready to get inspired? When you close your eyes and imagine an empowered woman, what do you see?   Nina - I see my Beautiful Mummy - the most inspirational, strong, confident and knowledgeable woman whom I have ever met. She is the reason why I am who I am  - she is my muse. Tell us a little bit about your path to empowerment? What was significant?   Nina - I have had to learn a lot along the way. It has been a pretty rough ride and to be honest, I think I am still growing every day. Empowerment doesn't just happen overnight - your life, situations and circumstances mould you into who you are today but then that might be a completely different person to who you may evolve into in say 6 months or 10 years from now. The core values are the same though, its just what you chose to do with your life journey that then defines you and of course, as you head on this journey, how you embrace the challenges and issues. It is so important to learn from your mistakes - remember, it isn't really a mistake if you take something from it and sometimes the Universe has a funny way of putting obstacles in our way to see how we deal with them and then learn a lesson from them. If we don't learn the first time, I believe the lesson is sent your way again until you do. The failures were significant to me as they made me more determined to succeed and to be honest, are still doing so. The support from my Family has been monumental - I really wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for them. What advice or suggestions can you give to women walking the path of empowerment? Nina - NEVER EVER GIVE UP - Remember the rain doesn't last forever! The art of positive thinking is huge - what you put out there will come back to you - what you believe you achieve - so no more negative thoughts! Just kick on and as long as you are determined and willing to work hard, you will make progress - albeit slowly sometimes, however remember, a step forward is a step forward - oh and don't compare yourself to everyone's else's clock - you are an individual, with your own timeline - it doesn't matter what everyone else is doing or achieving - this is your story. I have the "Don't Quit" Poem in my office and I read it on a daily basis. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?   Nina - Haha! I wish I knew then what I knew now! That's all part of the process - one major piece of advice I would give it to listen to your intuition - as women, we are blessed with a real powerful sense of intuition - if something feels right then go for it - and if it doesn't then its usually for a reason! Also, stay true to yourself - don't try and be someone that you arent - it will catch up with you in the end. How do you support women to live empowered lives?   Nina - I try and give women as much confidence, support and encouragement as possible - both in a work capacity obviously through my modelling work and of course Love Curves - but also from a personal point of view - in everyday life. I will always compliment women and talk to them, listen to their problems maybe - whatever it is, I always try and build people up - it is so true what Mary Angelou said - "People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel". Just one kind word to someone may completely change their whole day - you never know what impact you can have on people - even the smallest gesture can mean a huge thing to someone. What inspires you?   Nina - Women everywhere really - I look at my friends who have chosen to get married and raise a beautiful Family and they amaze me - how they run a household and look after all these gorgeous children and be a Wife, Mother, Daughter, Friend, Work Colleague etc. is just incredible! Equally, I have friends who have chosen to go down the career route and are now high fliers at some of the top companies in the world and I look at them with awe - always travelling, one ear glued to the end of the phone whilst still being more than capable of spinning more plates than ever before. Women are just incredible - we have so many "hats" that we have to wear on a daily basis and yet, we do it all - we are pretty special! 😉     How do you take care of yourself every day so that you stay balanced and centred?   Nina - I have 2 Beautiful Black Bears ( dogs) that are my absolute World - Enzo and Oscar are my two Newfoundlands and they are my Babies! I walk them every day - we have a routine - I talk to them the whole time we are walking! They must think that I am nuts!! So, on the way to our destination, I download my brain  - tell them all about whats worrying me, my troubles, issues etc and then when we turn round and head back home - we make a plan of action! I know it may sound a little crazy but it works well for me! I don't get as much time to myself as I would like to - this is something that I need to work on - I do have a habit of prioritising everyone else before myself, but I am trying to change this up a little so I can have more time to myself to do what I want to do  - for example, I would love to go back into horseriding which I love, I just need a few more hours in the day!     What role do men play in supporting empowered women? How have men supported you?   It takes a strong man to handle a strong woman! As amazing as we all are, I believe that everyone needs someone to be "behind the scenes" loving and supporting them. We are not invincible - and sometimes you need someone to be able to catch you when you fall - be that a man or a woman. My Father and my Brothers have always been super supportive of me but, as I mentioned at the start of the interview, my Mum is the reason I am who I am 🙂   Thank you so much Nina for taking your time to talk to the BIO-EXTRACTS team.

Strong Women: May We Raise Them

"Here's to strong women may we know them. May we be them. May we raise them." Many have seen this quote before. We all hope to be strong and to surround ourselves with other women who empower us and bring us up. But what about the ones raising us to be those strong women? This mother’s day, we want to give thanks to the women that have made the sacrifices to raise girls that do not focus on fitting into the glass slipper, preferring instead to smash the glass ceiling. Through this heart to heart interview with our founder, we hope to inspire other entrepreneurial women around the world to think business and be beautiful, inside and out. When we are young, we always say that we do not wish to be like our mothers but as we get older, we realise that the apple never falls too far from the tree. Do you think this is the case for you? Marina: My mother has always been a hard working woman. She instilled in me the same work ethic as well as a love for learning and admiration for people who have achieved something great that others can benefit from. This is why I have always been determined to create something incredible that I can share with the world. Irina: Although my mum and I are very different characters, we share many common traits. My mother is not the kind of woman to accept compromises. I always disliked this trait in her as she is very difficult to negotiate with. However, as she became my business mentor, I have found myself adopting this characteristic as it is absolutely essential for making your vision a reality. How did you both feel about going into business together, do you find working with each other do you both think quite similarly? How well does your Mother and Daughter relationship fit in with the business? Irina: My mother has been my mentor all my life, and as I was growing up, her business has been all around me – sometimes literally as she basically has a lab in the house! For that reason, going into business with her was the logical thing to do. She’s a strong-willed businesswoman, a real role model who has always taught me the importance of being a strong-minded, independent woman. It’s great that she’s now my business mentor as well as my life mentor. Marina: Irina is not like the business partners I have worked with before. We could not be more different in our character. After all, we were raised in different eras and in different countries, but that’s actually what makes it a great partnership. Having those differences is a beautiful thing, and it certainly makes the business more dynamic! What inspired the creation of BIO-EXTRACTS and when did you launch the brand? Marina: Around 10 years ago, I launched a luxury, top of the range skincare company, Nubo. It has been and still is, very popular. As my daughter was growing up and getting more interested in specific skincare products, I became aware that the Nubo range was aimed at a very specific market, that didn’t include her. I wanted to do something about that. Irina: The idea for BIO-EXTRACTS came about through conversations with my mother. Initially, she wanted to know what I was looking for from a skincare range. Our ambitions quickly expanded, and we realised we wanted to reinvent the conventional approach to skincare and create an affordable brand without compromising on the quality or the quantity of the active ingredients. (made small edits to make shorter sentences easier to read). Marina: We launched BIO-EXTRACTS at the start of 2016. The inspiration that’s driving us now is our vision to create a skincare range that grants your skin’s wishes. Most skincare experts will tell you to limit your lifestyle in order to preserve your skin, but we believe that life is for living. We want BIO-EXTRACTS to be a skincare range that recognises this. We want it to be your skin’s lifestyle support! How close do you work with the team are you involved quite heavily on a day to day basis? And do you have any other members of family working with you? Irina:  We look after and are actively involved in each and every part of the business; from the initial conception of an idea in the lab to the social media posts about the final product and everything in between! It is a lot of work but that’s what it takes if you want to give your customers the best results. Marina: I’m a perfectionist. I like to be involved with everything and oversee every little detail but I am getting better as I get older, particularly better at delegating. And that’s not just because I have my daughter to make sure that I don’t try and do everything myself and do work with her! How did you come up with the syringe idea for the packaging, who’s idea was it? Irina: The packaging was my mum’s idea. I think it perfectly sums up the marriage between the cutting edge science and nature’s most valuable active molecules that we use to make our products. Marina: I wanted a design that was practical, attractive and eye-catching, but also said something about the product. In terms of the science behind the packaging, the airless syringe-like packaging represents the revolutionary Micro-Injected Delivery System® in each Boost. This is an incredible system that ensures the rapid delivery and absorption of the active ingredients into the skin, without the need for injections. Irina: While there were no arguments about the syringe idea, there were many family disputes over which Pantone colours to go for! But I think, in the end, the choices we made reflect the fun and playful element of our brand.  Also, they remind me of a Russian fairy tale my mother used to tell me, about a girl who received a magic flower with seven different coloured petals. Each petal had the power to grant any wish that the girl desired. The Boosts are like the petals for me. Every Boost grants a specific wish! Talk us through your daily skincare regime. Irina: It really depends on where I am and what I’ve been doing the day before, which is the wonderful thing about of our line -  it gives me the power to tailor my skincare solutions day and night - and why everything I’m going to mention now is part of it! I start with a magic cleansing towel and if it’s a party night, in the morning I’ll add a few shots of the Glow Boost and Hydro Boost to my moisturiser and Clean to Clear in the evening. I also vary my regime depending on where I’m going to be, so if I’m in the city, I add an Anti-Oxidant Boost, as it’s an absolute must for protection against pollution. Finally, and I know some people might think it’s more information than they need to know, but if it is coming up to my time of the month, Redness Relief and Clean to Clear are my saviours. Marina: Cleansing is the most important part of any skincare routine so I start my day with the Vitamin C Foaming Cleanser from NuBo. I then add a drop or two of Lifting and Firming Boosts to my Normal Moisturiser and a drop of the Brightening Boost to the Age Defying Eye Contour Cream to get rid of any dark circles under my eyes. In the evening, I will start with the NuBo Velvet Cleansing Cream before adding some reparative Boosts, such as the Anti-Oxidant Boost to my moisturiser. I have very dry skin and so, during the winter months, when its particularly cold I would use the Rich Moisturiser for the face and the Ultra Rich for the eyes, and rely on the Hydro Boost and the Rich Moisturiser to give my skin that perfect hydration and nourishment whilst I sleep. I always carry the Anti-Oxidant and Hydro Boosts in my handbag, in case my skin needs some love during the day.  They are just so simple to use, and really help to keep make up fresh. Do you have any further products launches in the pipeline for BIO-EXTRACTS? Irina: We have very exciting new products in the works! We don’t want to give away too much but we are currently developing top of the range products that will pamper your skin, whilst helping you to relax and feel your best. Where would you like to see BIO-EXTRACTS in 5 years time? Irina: We want to empower people to make skincare choices that are right for them. In 5 years time, we would like to see an ever growing range of BIO-EXTRACTS products in many stores! Marina: It is always very rewarding to work on developing new products, to see your dreams become a reality and to see them making a difference to people. I would like to see BIO-EXTRACTS becoming an established brand, giving people the power to blend their unique skincare solutions on a daily basis and ensure their skin is looking its best, no matter what the changes are in their lifestyle, environment or time zone. What tip would you give to women who want to start their own business? Irina: Find a good mentor. Because men have traditionally dominated the business landscape, young men going into business have always found it easier to find a mentor they relate to. This is harder for women but it is becoming easier. Your mentor does not necessarily have to come from that business field. Entrepreneurship is about innovation and so there may not be anyone who has done that before. Make your own way. A good mentor will not tell you how to run a business but instead will give you a certain set of skills and a mind set that will enable you to do that. Marina: I think that many women often underestimate their own potential and fail to dream big enough. I have always told my daughter to believe in herself and keep pushing boundaries to achieve something even greater. By our nature, women are sometimes more prone to react emotionally to criticism than men. There is no point in that, it is a waste of your energy. Always be rational in your approach, prepare for set backs and For more mother and daughter stories check our Instagram. 

How to apply your eye cream correctly?

Your eyes are delicate, and they deserve the right care. Since you already have your eye cream now, it's time to show you the correct way to use it. Simple steps can support the function of the cream and bring faster results. We asked Jen - BIO-EXTRACTS QVC presenter - to show us how to do it quickly. Have a look. Important points to remember about the eye care. Your eye area is delicate, and the skin is thinner than on the rest of your face. Therefore, it deserves right attention and purposely designed products. Always use eye serum and eye cream as this product would have been tested. Use your ring finger to apply your products, you'll apply less pressure this way. You don't want to be pulling on that fragile skin around your eyes. Apply your eye product only on your orbital bone. Your skin will absorb the ingredients and distribute it. There is no need to place your eye product on your eyelids. Thanks for checking our blog. Let us know if there is any particular subject you'd like us to cover.