illamasqua cream eyeshadows

Friday, September 30, 2011
I love a good Illamasqua sale. Their most recent sale had me rushing online and in stores to purchase something i've always wanted to try from them - their cream eyeshadows. I'm a huge fan of their cream pigments and wanted to see how these faired and if they were just as easy to use. They come in the same pretty little pot size as their powder eyeshadows and are intended for use as a base for eyeshadows. They're highly pigmented and really creamy and soft to apply. I have been using them under eyeshadows for definite, on their own they can sweat a bit and crease - especially if you're wearing them for a long day.

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I bought three shades, Thief, Engulf and Stimulus. Here's a closer look at the colours I chose:

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I found the best way to apply these to the lid was with my fingers, if i'm honest. I found that I could pick up just the right amount of product, place it on my eyelid and not bombard the lid with too much. If you do it's more likely to clump and crease, so a thin layering is all you need. Luckily they're so pigmented you only need a tiny touch for it to show. I applied it just to my main lid before applying my eyeshadow over the top. The best thing about them is how they make eyeshadow colours (at risk of sounding like Elle Fowler) 'pop' ! Because of the strong cream base, they make the perfect compliment to pigments too. I used the dark grey/brown one - Thief - underneath my new Illamasqua pigment Zeitgeist and it made the pigment so strong and perfect for a smokey eye. It's just like glue and glitter really, glitter stays perfectly in put with the help of a good glue and that's the way I see these cream eyeshadows - pretty coloured eye glue!

They come in so many shades it was impossible to choose but I went for ones I felt would create the best base colours - I think if you're looking to buy them that is the easiest way of deciding. I wouldn't use these as single eyeshadows because unlike powder they don't stay put all day. If you use a good primer they will stay put for longer but they still crease - hence why they need setting with a little powder eyeshadow. Don't cake the powder over the top either because it will create a big lumpy mess and will also crease slightly - not as much, but still slightly. The best way is to use your finger, a tiny bit of cream eyeshadow, then dip your finger in the powder eyeshadow and pat it on gently. Once you've coated the eye then you can blend softly with a blending brush into the socket and crease cut.

Here's some swatches of the cream eyeshadows that I picked, in the same order as above with flash and then without:

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You can see how pigmented they are! I was very fortunate to pick these up on sale for just £5 each but they normally retail at £15.50 each which seems a little pricey I know but they are staples for your makeup bag. If you're a makeup artist they are so staples for your kit and I believe they are fab.

I will be totally honest, I do prefer the consistency of my cream pigments by Illamasqua - just because they seem thicker and much much more pigmented - but I think these are still incredible and they've revolutionised the way I apply eyeshadow as I don't ever do an eye look without one of these as a base now. The thing is, even though they're £15.50 they are great quality and you can buy cheap ones but in my experience they just crease the second you put them on. Use these properly and you'll have crease free eyes, I do this everyday for work and when I go home yes it's a little mushed but it's still crease free, and that for me is the biggest selling point.

You can buy Illamasqua's Cream Eyeshadows online at www.illamasqua.com and in store.

What do you think of Illamasqua's Cream Eyeshadows? Do you use cream eyeshadows as a base? Had you heard of these? Did you too get some in the sale, let me know what you think, I LOVE getting your comments and tweets!
Love, Zozo xxx

Disclaimer: These were all purchased by me with my own money and yes I was super savvy and got all three for £15 in the Illamasqua sale, it pays to sign up to newsletters folks!

Don't forget you can tweet me about this article @londonlipgloss.

lisa shepherd salon, london

Thursday, September 29, 2011
About three weeks or so ago I was fortunate enough to be treated to a new colour and cut treatment at the Lisa Shepherd Salon in London. Lisa is the resident colour expert on Channel 4's 'Ten Years Younger' and as soon as I found this out I was more than happy to oblige to trusting them with my tresses as I instantly presumed two things: 1. they would be able to provide me with sterling colour service and treatment and 2. would potentally help me keep the years off by doing so! Now firstly I have to apologise, because apart from the photos of myself all the photos of the salon are stock photos, as this was the day after my camera was thrown on the floor and the lens broken *sob* (i even took my camera along with me and TRIED to take photos - so dedicated to you - but it wasn't happening, that lens was mashed!)



I had my appointment with Art Director of the Central London store, the very lovely Jason Cocking. He immediately made me feel at home as I sat in the self service kitchen area (how fabulous?!) and we discussed what to do with my hair. I was about to start my new job and wanted something that still reflected me but was natural, pretty and subdued. We decided to go for the red toned purple colour still, but Jason put blonde all through the tips to highlight the ends of my hair and make the colour multitonal and natural looking as once the purple was applied over the top it took to the highlighted areas differently.


Every single member of staff was lovely, from the receptionist to the young girl who washed my hair - we got into quite a deep chat about tattoos and piercings, I can't remember your name but if you got the tattoo on your neck please tweet me and let me know! I felt very comfortable and at home. This is such a huge thing for a salon I think, I'm quite happy to chat away to anyone in any circumstance, but not a lot of people are, and actually visiting a salon can be quite a daunting prospect for some people. There were quite a few lovely touches which made me love the salon and how unique it was, including the self service kitchen, huge selection of reading material and internet to use while waiting for colour to take(!), comfy 'egg' style chairs, and probably my favourite feature of all - the salon has walls of mirrors. I was sat in the corner, which meant I could see my hair from every angle - something I have never seen in a salon before.



Because Lisa Shepherd salons are specialists in colour, they're not afraid to show you their skills. The salon had a huge colour mixing table in the middle of it, similar to what I can only describe as an art shop! You know how normally when you're at a salon and you get colour, the stylist runs out the back and mixes something before appearing with some kind of purple/blonde mixture that you've no idea what they've put in or even what the final colour might look like? Lisa Shepherd salon isn't like this. All their colours and mixers are out on this table meaning you can watch exactly what they're doing - there's certainly no hiding these colour experts. I'm likening it to one of those pizza restaurants you know is good because they cook the pizza at your table, they don't need to hide any of their work as it's all good, honest and trustworthy food. This is just the same and also helped me with the whole 'at ease' vibe and mood of the place.

So, did the hair live up to how nice the salon experience was? I purposely left it a while to review the salon because the feeling after an instant cut is so different to the feeling a month later, and my hair very quickly tells me if it's not happy by splitting, frazzling and not behaving in the mornings even after a recent cut. After my consultation with Jason we established that some of my frazzled hair was due to me not quite drying it properly before putting my straighteners on it - something I never thought was the cause because I presumed it was just years of bleach that caused it. Na-uh! Jason told me to change my routine by drying my hair then pausing to go brush teeth or do make up so when I returned to do my hair with the straighteners it would have cooled and i'll be able to feel if it's bone dry or not. This has made a huge difference to my hair and I would go as far as saying this is perhaps the best cut my hair has had. I'm still getting compliments each day asking if it's freshly cut (got one the evening I wrote this post infact!) and it's been nearly a month since I visited. Here's some photos of my hair post cut/colour:

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Overall I am incredibly impressed with the results of the salon and intend on visiting again and
hopefully maintaining a good relationship with Jason so he and I can keep continuity of my hair going on for longer. I am well on the way to fixing my broken hair after two years of it being awful and I could not be happier.

Check out Lisa Shepherd salons here as they're not just in London:
http://www.lisashepherd.co.uk/home
A cut and dry at the salon starts at just £53 and colour priced on requirements.

So a big thankyou to Jason for doing such a fantastic job and all the team in the London store as well as the wonderful PR who sent me there to begin with!

What do you think of the touches they've made to their salon? Do you like the serve yourself kitchen, and the walls of mirrors? Would you visit Lisa Shepherd's salons?
Let me know!
Love Zozo xxxxx

Disclaimer: My visit to Lisa Shepherd London was complimentary courtesy of their PR and the treatments I received were not paid for. This hasn't affected my opinion, i'm sure you'll agree by the photos of the salon how fab their unique homely touches are and the results of my hair are obvious!

nars fall collection 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Pioneering some of the lead makeup trends catwalk side at NYFW for some hot designers (including Marc Jacobs!), NARS is always forefront of fashion inspired makeup collections in their true distinctive NARS style. Their Fall collection for 2011 is mainly soft pastels, taupes, soft corals and deep reds - but then there's the shift. The bold, fierce, strong and curving point of the collection lands in the hands of single eyeshadow in Outremer - which literally translates as 'overseas'. You might argue it's the key focus of the collection, the piece that made it all. With a name like Overseas inspiring the rest of the names of the collection - from Parisian street names to our own 'Abbey Road' - there is something about this collection that sets it out from the rest.

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^ Outremer Eyeshadow

There is something in this collection for everyone, I love how they've gone for an idea in the soft wearable taupes, but aside from Outremer there's a bold red lipstick, and turquoise/green eyeliners for the more daring and adventurous among us

One of the standout pieces for me was the Trio Eyeshadow set in Delphes, which has a shimmery soft peachy pink, a dove grey and a taupe sage shade. All perfect for soft autumnal looks. What I loved about it was how it felt quite summery still but wasn't as bold as summer, and could be worn easily in the daytime soft evenings as it gets darker sooner.

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There's also a Duo Eyeshadow, in Grand Palais, which is a rosy pink and soft shimmery taupe. I felt the taupe shade was very pretty but not hugely innovative - I own a lot already similar. What I did like about the Duo was that the rosy pink shade could easily double up as a really pretty wintery blush, especially perfect on my pale skin.

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Then of course there is Outremer, a soft, finely milled matte cobalt blue. This is also the main and key focus of their collection imagery, shown below:

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There's also two new matte lipsticks (Montego Bay -pink/coral - and Mascate - red) and one softer, slightly more shimmery lipstick in Pago Pago, a coral pink. To go with these there's a new matte lip pencil lipstick, which is the same as the matte lipsticks but just in the convieniant pencil shape! It's shade is Train Bleu. The last item is a nail varnish, in the shade Galion - a fierce dark grey.

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The thing about NARS is, it was created with flawless skin in mind. Francois Nars being the force behind the ideology that NARS is all about the base, the complexion, the face, that glow. My favourite foundation, Sheer Glow, has been repurchased and repurchased since I fell in love with it, and I couldn't wait to meet the newest addition to their quest for skincare perfection, the Concealer in stick form. Not only because the formulation looked fantastic, but because it comes in a brand new super pale shade for ghosties - yay! The shade is Chantilly, and it looks like this:

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^ Chantilly

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They also have a new launch in the shape of their Larger than Life Long-wear Eyeliners. They come in nine new shades from bold green to intense blacks to soft shimmery purples. Here's a full swatch look courtesy of the amazing Jen from Beauty Junkie in London:

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The one I chose to take home with me was Via Appia which is a deep coppery brown. Here's a closer look at it:

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I think the NARS A/W collection will go down a storm, because there really is an item that will suit everyone, normally collections are so themed you'll either like them or you wont - or you'll just like one key piece. This one I could have easily bought half of it then and there! I know I wimped out of taking home Outremer with me (I nearly did) in favour of the softer more wearable shades, but that is the beauty of NARS, it's all there to help you create that flawless face whether you pick bold shades or soft shades. I can't wait to try the products I have and i'm sure as always with NARS the quality will be impeccable. I own a NARS eyeshadow already and i've barely even dented it that's how pigmented it is!

You can buy the new collection instore and online here:
http://www.narscosmetics.co.uk/the-latest/fall-2011

What do you think of NARS A/W 11 collection? Has anything caught your eye? What do you think of the concealers and the eyeliners, the new additions to the range?
Lots of love, Zozo xxxx

Disclaimer: I recieved the products featured as my own at the NARS A/W preview event, they are PR samples and in no way reflect my opinion of the collection. All the words are my own views.

liz earle botanical shine shampoo and conditioner

Wednesday, September 28, 2011
One of the most requested things that Liz kept getting asked to create by women all over the UK was a range for hair as good as her skincare range, so hot off the trot around a year ago the team at Liz Earle did just that, and their Botanical Shine range for hair was born. There is currently just one shampoo for all hair types, and then three different conditioners depending on your hair type, - normal, dry/damaged and fine/oily. The one I have to show you is for dry/damaged hair.

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They come in squeezy tubes and in 50ml or 200ml sizes. They've got this lovely new design for the hair range inspired by the plant based ingredients inside - it looks a bit like fresh grass! If you look closely you can see where the 'grass blades' aren't all straight - symbolising the look of sleek and shiny flowing hair.

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Now, similar to her award winning Cleanse and Polish, Liz knew that she could create just one shampoo that would suit all hair types. It lathers nicely, is very soft and light in application but the best thing is it smells amazing. Citrus, apples, fruit and fresh plant extract are all recognisable and the very first time I used it I was totally blown away by how lovely it smelt. Only a tiny bit of this is needed, as it goes such a long way. I had to adjust to this as normally I need to slap loads of shampoo on my hair. This is completely SLS free and it works so much better than all the ones I normally use which do contain SLS?! I've no idea how that works, but they've totally come up with a winning formula at Liz Earle. I get through shampoo like nobodys business (such thick hair) and this is incredible because you do really only need a tiny amount.

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The dry/damaged conditioner smells exactly the same as the shampoo - double the amazing smell! I find I do need to use a considerable amount more of this to cover all my hair equally. It's really thick, and applies easily and evenly. It contains shea butter, which you can smell in the conditioner and also feel the benefits of on your hair.

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I took exclusively these hair products to Center Parcs with me last week as I knew I could give them a fair shot. Why? Because I spent half the week in the swimming pool, butchering my hair with chlorine. I knew that last week was the perfect opportunity to put them to the real test, as we all know that chlorine soaked hair is not only disgusting but hard to remedy when it's being thrown on the hair every single day for a week. Some days I was spending up to two or three hours in the swimming pool so my hair was completely saturated, and my hair is quite broken at the tips still so quite porous, and soaking up everything going inside. Well, I was a bit nervous about taking a brand new haircare range I hadn't used, but I absolutely neednt be, as this collection was amazing. It totally fixed my hair and left it feeling incredibly soft and looking amazing - super shiny!

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I was so impressed with it, and it's still stayed my haircare range since as I haven't put them down since I got home! I have nearly used all of my conditioner already, so I'm going to need to invest in a new one of those methinks!

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Now it is a little more pricey than normal shampoo and conditioner, but you really do get what you pay for and the shampoo will last you ages, definitely longer than normal. If your hair is thick like mine you will get through the conditioner very quickly (mines feeling empty and it's been about ten days of use!!) but if your hair is quite fine it will last you a good time.

The 200ml featured here both retail at £8 each. You can check them out here:
http://uk.lizearle.com/haircare.html

What do you think of Liz Earle's haircare range? Have you tried these or will you be trying these? What do you think about paying a little bit more for haircare (to be fair, it's only about £3 more than i'd normally pay!)
Let me know what you think, would love to get your thoughts!
Lots of love, Zozo xxxx

Disclaimer: Both the Shampoo and Conditioner were provided for me for consideration by Liz Earle's PR. My fringe is literally softer than ever before!

celebrating ten years of the aveda institute

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
A huge achievement for American born brand Aveda, having opened their Covent Garden Institute on September 14th, 2001 - it has now run for a hugely successful ten years. To celebrate, the brand had a fab swinging party right there in the Institute and I was lucky enough to be invited to attend. The institute is incredible, housing not only their full range of every Aveda product, but a spa too. They offer all sorts of treatments in house from a simple blow dry to a full on massage treatment.

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The tenth party was incredible, there was cocktails, canapes and a house drumming band! Oh and a FULL range of all their treatments ready to be sampled! It was incredible, like being a child given all the money in the world in Toys R Us to run free. I opted for a 10 minute body massage - wished it had never ended - and lots of the other lovely bloggers I was with went for manicures, hair styling, perfume consultations, hand massages...gosh! We were truly spoilt at the hands of Aveda.

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One of the best things about Aveda is how eco-friendly and organic it has become now. It's the only beauty company to use 100% wind power to fuel it's primary manufacturing source in the USA. Not only that but 90% of their essential oils used are organic and 89% of their raw herbal ingredients are certified organic. They also do a lot to support the indigenous communities who help them out with their ingredients.

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So the institute itsself is open for services from facials to blow dries and can be booked really easily online. Probably the best feature of the Institute is the spa, with everything from massages to facials and complete mind and body relaxation.

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I absolutely loved my time at the Institute and can't wait to go back for a full body massage in the future - definitely getting one of those come payday! I would hugely recommend it, it's like a little haven tucked away in the smack bang center of London. Just five minutes on that full body massage table helped sort me out, I couldn't even begin to imagine how good a full massage would feel!

You can find out more about the Institute in Covent Garden by visiting their website here:
http://www.aveda.co.uk/findalocation/covent_garden.tmpl

Would you visit the Institute? Are you a fan of Aveda? The party was so much fun, thankyou Aveda for having me!
Love, Zozo xxxx

Disclaimer: The event was to celebrate ten years of their Institute and I was invited by the PR which I am not affiliated with, although a few more massages and i'm theirs! I jest, I jest.