magnet nails and nails inc event

Monday, October 31, 2011
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Nails Inc, South Molton Street London. A/W Blogging Event.

About a month ago now I headed off to South Molton Street to the flagship Nails Inc store for an evening with Nails Inc - mostly to learn about their magnetic polish but also to discover the store and all the shades available from Nails Inc. I know there are a lot of magnet nail styles around at the moment - I know of Nails Inc, FashionistA, 17 and Filthy Gorgeous - and I genuinely don't think the Nails Inc one is any different at all, with the same wave magnet and the same shades as a lot of other brands that are cheaper, so personally I wouldn't really buy this, and just because you can buy the same thing from Superdrug brands such as FashionistA for just £6 I wouldn't really recommend you spending £13 on it either. Why spend double? But they have a gold one, which I haven't seen from any other brand so that one may be worth the purchase and to be honest with you was the one I was by far the most interested in. When given the option of having a manicure at Nails Inc, I instantly plumped for the gold but was told straight away I wasn't allowed the gold shade, only the purple or silver. Which I found odd, their reasoning being that they had no 'samples' of the gold in store, but I had a snoop around and found them on the shelf having already been sampled and ready for manicures... So i'm a bit baffled by all that. Also no one that left the event was given the gold shade to take away and play with. :/. Anyway, having already tried the FashionistA polish a month earlier I plumped for the exact same shade that I already have, the purple.

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^ lots of testers. has anyone tried the gold?

It's very pretty. I can't really explain much else because it's already been talked about a million times. The magnet is the same, it has the little edge where you balance it on your finger and that creates the wave. The one thing that was nice about this event was being able to have someone else do the manicure for me! Because I knew about it all already and wanted to try something different, I asked her to do the wave sideways - contrary to the way the wave is meant to sit. I really like it like this! What do you think?

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The rest of the launch was really nice, I got a chance to nose around at all of the shades they own and get a real indepth look at the brand and the branding. They have a lot of gift sets at the moment what with the lead up to Christmas 'n all that. One that particularly caught my eye was The Show Stoppers, which retails at just £15 for five little miniature bottles of Nails Inc in the best Christmas party shades. I really liked this and thought it would make a lovely gift.

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Some things that also please me in life include alphabetisation and also colorisation, so I was very aesthetically pleased to see a 'wall of nails' all ordered by colour. Oh the joy! One thing about Nails Inc polishes is that they do look absolutely gorgeous, especially when lined up on a large scale like this! Jen and I loved looking at it for a prolonged period of time, picking out ones we liked and 'ooh-ing' and 'ahh-ing' over the beautiful shades. Colours are a big thing that Nails Inc does get right constantly, with their colour shades always being on trend and their 'base' shades (red, yellow, green, blue) all being very pigmented and intense colourings.

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Overall my visit to the store was lovely, the manicurist that did my nails was super chatty and bubbly and I would definitely go to visit her again in particular, she made me feel very much at ease and enjoy myself, and she did a truly fantastic job with such a difficult client (wanting the wave sideways!!). She also recommended their cuticle oil pen which I love, and am going to have to head back there to buy as it was a great product. I don't rate their magnetic polish above anyone elses, I saw the same results as the cheaper ones, but I would like to see the gold in action. Opinion about Nails Inc still divided as their polishes are so hit and miss on me, sometimes they chip like mad and other times they stay for days. I don't understand the inconsistency and for that reason it's still hard for me to formulate a true verdict! I've got lots more polishes to try though so hopefully I can come to a concise decision! I still lust over quite a few of the shades, and still need them in my life! It's definitely still a brand I will keep on purchasing from, and yes the magnetic polish does work exceptionally well, so if you prefer Nails Inc then you wont mind spending the £13 but personally I just can't justify it.

What do you think of Nails Inc? Have you tried magnetic polish and if so which brand do you prefer? Do you own much Nails Inc? Does anyone feel the same way about me with it chipping sometimes and others not so much at all? Let me know! Interested about this one a lot.
Love, Zozo 
x


Disclaimer: The Nails Inc event was a PR event for bloggers.

sunday sofa catchup 02

Sunday, October 30, 2011



























 Photo credits: First group Cosmo Shot: Milly, Second group Cosmo Shot: Lily, Lily and I at Elle: Jaime.
I've been in my new home for a full week (and a little bit) now and i'm still absolutely loving it. Both myself and Del are stoked with it because it's the first time ever we've been rewarded for the hard work we both put into our lives really. Del has worked tirelessly for years to help promote the music scene locally, and essentially for free and/or often actually losing money from his own pocket. I've worked in a crummy shop for so long trying to go out of my way to earn a good wage and live a nice life before finally landing an incredible job and we're now finally being rewarded with this lovely flat which we're both treasuring and loving every single minute of. It's really the first time in my life that i've ever actually seen a nice reward for something i've done in my life and it's just lovely.

This week I attended the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards and waited with baited breath to see who the worthy winner was in my category of Established Beauty Blog - and the winner was of course the fantastic Zoella, a blog I was reading before I started my own so a definite true deserving recipient. I actually never once thought I would win, so instead devoted my night to ensuring all of you lovely beauty community - my favourite community - could find out everything you needed to know from the awards. Thus I engaged in some live tweeting, which ironically turned out to be that I was tweeting the award winners faster than the Cosmo twitter itsself! My tweets were retweeted and the response I got when Anna won Best New Beauty Blog was crazy, and the lovely Anna was honoured to see the whole thing unravel infront of her eyes! We posed in the photobooth and did a little jig to the tunes aswell as generally enjoying the pleasure of each others company. I loved hanging out with all my faves and I want to thank everyone I went with for making it a truly joyful night. I also attended a few other events the week before, as shown in the images :)

Other than that this week i've been discussing my future collaboration with a beauty brand for a makeup product to be sold in the uk very soon! I can't reveal much at all and tbh I don't want to as I want it to be a big surprise, so i'm planning shade names and spent one evening this week picking out the shade I wanted that represented me. Turned out to be a very hard job!

Looking forward to this week, still moving new things into the flat, and buying things we need (namely the internet!!) and generally spending some time with Del. More launches and beauty party fun times are coming aswell as some general partytimes. See you then!
Love, Zozo 
x

mud lipstick for breast cancer month

Saturday, October 29, 2011
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MUD Sheer Lipstick in Sandy Beach

I know this is very close to the mark, but you still have three days to log on this weekend and purchase for Breast Cancer month! Nuusuite.com are donating 5% of profits from all MUD (Make Up Designatory) lipsticks and lipglosses to Breast Cancer Care. I've got one to show you, and it's gorgeous! MUD are well known for their make up academies and schools in NYC and LA, and are often worn by celebrities on the Hollywood red carpet.

Nuusuite.com sells MUD lipglosses and lipsticks, but the one pictured is a Sheer Lipstick in Sandy Beach, and it's a very soft nude pink shade. It looks a bit weird in the photos because I think it got a bit hot in either storage or transit and seems to have 'sweated' - it still works perfectly fine as normal, but just looks a bit odd here! Sorry about that.

It is quite sheer in application but has a lovely pigment to it that compliments my skintone - I like nude lipsticks but not intense pigment ones because then I just look like a dead corpse, whereas this one is sheer enough to provide me with a slick of colour but no scary over the top 'concealer lips'!

So just a quick little Saturday post to show you the MUD lipstick and where to head if you do wish to purchase one as they're currently donating money to Breast Cancer Care :)

You can purchase them here:
http://www.nuusuite.com/cosmetics/lips.html

What do you think of MUD? Will you be making a last minute purchase for Breast Cancer Care? What do you think of the shade shown here?
Love, Zozo 
x


Disclaimer: The MUD lipstick was a PR sample.

nars - penny lane cream blush

Thursday, October 27, 2011
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Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs, of every head he's had the pleasure to have known. And all the people that come and go, stop and say hello. 

I love all things wonderfully British. And while the wonderful Francois Nars unfortunately is not, he knows how to name a product that is very suited to being at the upmost, excellently British. One of the best quintessential things about our lovely little island is that we are mostly a nation of pale skinned beauties. English Rose isn't a well-known phrase for no reason, it's well documented that a strong number of our female population (especially you lucky lucky ginger haired girls!) are beautifully full on rosy white. So to find a blush that compliments the skin tone perfectly is a constant aim of mine, what being all pale 'n that I am! Step in this gorgeous offering from NARS that i've had my beady eyes on for ages, Penny Lane.

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I have eyed this up for about two years now and always for some reason stepped away. For this reason, I blame Illamasqua and MAC. Around the same time I was eyeing up Penny Lane, I got into MAC and Illamasqua's cream blushes and they were a little cheaper, and I found MAC's to be just okay but Illamasqua's to be mind blowingly pigmented. I've raved about this before. So NARS has unfortunately ended up getting pushed lower and lower down my 'wishlist' of things until I finally got the opportunity to try it.

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A lot of NARS's blushes are darker in pigment and quite different to Penny Lane, I feel like Penny Lane is very different to all their others, being a very wearable shade for most skintones - but definitely more so for the softer, paler ladies among us.

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It applies very well, being smooth and really easy to blend over foundation and/or tinted moisturiser (which is what I mostly wear.) I love the silky finish of it and it dries quickly and instantly feels like part of your full makeup - nothing worse than a greasy, hard to blend cream blusher, or one that feels weird on the skin. This feels just as soft as a lovely powder blush. I'm just applying it down my cheekbones with my fingers - it's so easy and one of the easiest cream blushes i've ever used. I think it's because it's such a soft shade it blends with minimal effort, and unlike some cheaper cream blushes - I love Topshop but it is harder to work - it blends without needing to be 'warmed up' on the fingers beforehand.

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^ with flash

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^ without flash

I absolutely love this blush and it's not left my side since. I have reached for it everyday since i've owned it and oh my gosh guys, Penny Lane isn't a cult favourite NARS product for no reason. I'm hooked on this blush, oooh deary me, giving Illamasqua a run for their money! Very happy to own this and i'd recommend it to pretty much every pale girl going, and as a great contour blush for darker skinned girls - olive tones etc. Yes it is a little pricey, I completely understand, I felt the same hence why I always swayed towards MAC/Illamasqua, but these last for ages. I've been using mine for a week and it genuinely hasn't dented at all.

NARS Penny Lane retails at £20.50 from Space NK, narscosmetics.co.uk and Selfridges.

What do you think of Penny Lane? Would you buy it? Is it not the kind of shade you go for? I absolutely adore it! One of my favourite Penny Lane references is of course, as quoted, The Beatles famous song, but one of my other favourite Penny Lane references is the excellent portrayal in 2000's film 'Almost Famous'. Both great reasons to embrace the Lane!
Love, Zozo 
x

Disclaimer: The NARS blush is a PR sample provided for me for consideration. I particularly chose Penny Lane as a shade I wanted in my life, and I *honestly* think if you're a paley like me, it's worth every penny.

tll geek: business cards

Monday, October 24, 2011
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I'm going to be writing a couple of these geeky posts dispersed between normal ones, all related to blogging but also a little geeky side to blogging too. I talked at the TOWIB event last week about Photography and it seemed to go down well and also made me realise that I can actually put my geeky knowledge to good use and hopefully pass on some tips! I very much often find when i'm out and about at events and networking i'm asked for my business card. I usually always reply with 'oh gosh no I don't have any, sorry' - which is a huge shame because i'm missing out on potential networking and future partnerships, also jobs in photography! I never thought once as a blogger i'd be asked for a business card but I guess as things expand and blogging becomes more forefront of a companies agenda, it's understandable that they'd want something to remember you by and easily check your blog on later. So I trundled off to moo.com and ordered myself some business cards!

I ordered two different kinds, one for my blog and one for my photography outside of my blog. Incase you're not familiar with me I'm a live music photographer for record labels and bands, but it's very much come and go and I rely on networking to get more work. I never really thought business cards essential for a blog but as your blog grows and grows, it's turned out to be something that can be a great tool in helping people remember you and why your blog should stand out. Inspired by clean, simple designs (I love this style) I made a blog business card simply with my face on it. Why? Because no one else has my face. I figured there were a million other beauty blogs out there, all with photos of lipstick and makeup and well, makeup artistry, and a million other fashion blogs out there - and a million blogs with people in the same clothes. (Damned high street!) So I figured, the easiest way for me to stand out and for people to remember my face at events and remember my name, I stuck my ugly mug on the front. I didn't really want to, and i'm not in any way trying to be some sort of narcissistic bellend, but my logical thinking was as above.

I then just put in some simple words about my blog, the credential that I was nominated for a Cosmo award (I went ahead and printed them with nominated because I genuinely am so sure I'm not going to win lol) and just a few lines about my blog. But more importantly, the url, big, and bold and in the middle.

My photography cards are very similar, the front is a photograph I took when I worked for Biffy Clyro as I felt it was the most interesting and dynamic photo to put on the front of a card. The back is very similar to the blog one, with a link to my work online and my contact details bold and easy to spot.

The biggest thing I felt about them was that I wanted to make them stand out, and make people remember them once i'd left them behind. I did that by adding rounded corners (not many people have these) and making sure they were printed on a good, thick, soft matte finish card. Again, most people plump for flimsy thin card - these feel different to hold.

I did pay more for them, around £30 for 50 of each design, but they are worth every penny, and at the end of the day these are two of my modes of living and you can't really spare expenses when it's your potential future at stake! That's how I felt anyway. I figured even if I got one photography job off the back of these business cards being passed around i'd make that £30 back straight away!

In terms of blog networking, they're priceless in that they get your name out there in an effective and unique way. If you want your blog to be one of your modes of living or you just want to get a bigger readership, these are so valuable for you to help distinguish your blog from the others. I plan on showcasing these for the first time at the Cosmo Blog Awards on Wednesday and I look forward to hearing what you all think, especially Lily - my biggest design critic! :)

I'd recommend moo.com for their printing, but not for their delivery service. They guaranteed me they would arrive by Wednesday (I ordered Sunday night) and they didn't arrive until Saturday. I'd relied on having them for then and I was very disappointed they didn't arrive in time. The printing and card are lovely and I can't fault them, but i'm a little put off by how long they took.

What do you think of my business cards? Do you agree and think they're effective for helping your blog? Or do you think they're a waste of money? Have you ordered from moo.com before?
Love, Zozo 
x

Disclaimer: The moo.com business cards were paid for entirely by myself but if you have a high Klout score they give some to you for free (I think this is still running) - mine was 1 point out, dammit.

when benefit cosmetics met the london lipgloss

Sunday, October 23, 2011



I had lunch with Lisa Potter Dixon, the makeup artist behind Benefit Cosmetics and Jasmine who’s head of PR last week to sit down and create our London Lipgloss ‘look’ using exclusively Benefit Cosmetics. Not only did I have a wonderful time learning all about their new products, I also got a chance to see first hand how some of them look on my skin. This was not only a great opportunity to get more familiar with current Benefit as I had fallen out of the loop with their new launches but also a chance to love the brand again. Due to other brands interesting me more and just a few products that I wasn't really into (love the blush but still not a fan of those cardboard boxes!) i'd sorta fallen out of love with Benefit. Which is a shame, because I see their products at the forefront of cosmetic launches, their tints being recognisable all over the world and half of the products in their range having deeply inspired a lot of other ranges - notably high street ones. So with the help of Lisa and Jasmine, we set about making sure I understood the brand properly and fell in love with Benefit all over again. Oh and not only that but they let me bring my sister and my Mum too - talk about super sweet or what! (Note, I don't usually bring my family! They'd planned a visit to London and Jasmine was just too nice and let them come along, couldn't believe how kind this was!!)

One of the products I particularly loved and then fell out of love with before was the You Rebel Lite tinted moisturiser. Lets skip back two years. Why did I love it? Fab coverage, not oily, super moisturising to the skin. Why did I eventually fall out of love with it? It was just too dark for my skin, and i'd already decided by then that I wanted to spend the rest of my days promoting pale skin and being healthy - it was simply far too orange for my skin. Lisa showed me the most perfect and easy way to use it and make my skin look flawless. Ready for her secrets and how you can get 'The London Lipgloss' look at home? Oooh!



Me and Benefit's Head of Makeup Artistry Lisa Potter Dixon

First apply the Triple Performing Facial Emulsion moisturiser to the skin. This has added SPF 15 which is especially great particularly for pale girls like me because the one thing I do not leave my house without now is SPF. Straight after applying this, mix a bit of You Rebel Lite, Pore-fessional and Girl Meets Pearl on the back of your hand. The Girl Meets Pearl adds natural looking shimmer and glow and also helps tone down the You Rebel for paley girls like me! You can also use this with the original You Rebel if you're darker toned. Apply this to the face with a brush smoothing into all areas and finish dabbing a bit of extra Pore-fessional mixed with Stay, Don't Stray under the eyes to conceal any blemishes. Lisa then finished the look with Coralista blush to bring out the rosiness in my cheeks. I'd never used a coral toned blush before and we both decided it looked gorgeous on me and was a really great Autumnal look - so be brave and try coral blush if you're pale! Here's how my skin looked after:

Not a trace of orange, see? Perfect for pale girls once used properly!

She then used the new Christmas kit - 'I'm Glam, Therefore I Am' on my eyes, picking out the purple shade to make my blue eyes pop. She simply brushed it over my whole lid, lining through the crease with the slightly darker shade. She explained that it was so easy to create a soft wearable daytime eye using just one shade with a little darkener in the crease and this was literally done in about 30 seconds! I was dying to try the new 'They're Real' mascara so Lisa let me see first hand how fab it was to apply. Blog world and makeup world has been bursting at the seams with nothing but praise for this mascara and it being the sort of brush I need to go for - plastic bristles for short stubby lashes - I couldn't wait to see the effect it would have on my eyes. Jasmine explained to me that not only were the store we were in sold out of They're Real but it was the second fastest selling makeup item of all time in the UK when it was released - and if you remember rightly it went out on a flash sale in just four days. Wow. The all time fastest selling product is YSL's Touche Eclat, and Benefit came second to it in just four days of sale - incredible. And after all that I was expecting great things on my lashes. Was I disappointed? Oh boy, no. I was thrilled! My Mum even went 'woah!' as I applied it!


We then simply finished the face with their Silky Finish Lipstick in Jing-a-Ling, which is a rosy pink pearl finish, similar to my lipshade but just different enough to give a little colour and finish. Lisa then finished the look completely with their Brow-zings in the right tone for my eyebrows. Love this! It's a waxy finish on one side and a powder on the other. Lisa explained the best way to apply this was to put the wax on first but go against the grain of the hair growth, thus not clumping the hair or creating a false looking slicked brow - but more a natural, shaped and defined look. Then set it into place with the powder and voila - perfect brows!



And here's the finished look and all the products used to create it!





Oops just noticed Bella Bamba is in shot and not Coralista - i'm wearing Coralista in this look but Bella Bamba is just a darker version really - best for night!

So there you have it! All the tools you need to create a gorgeous, natural look inspired by Zozo and ready for daytime wear! 

I loved my lunch with Benefit (I also had some 'posh fries', they were covered in chilli sauce and guacamole, yum yum!) and my Mum and my Sister each got makeovers too which they LOVED. My sister so much that she dashed to John Lewis (Fouberts Place, this store shown, was sold out!) to buy They're Real! My mum has learnt new tips on how to apply her moisturiser and foundation for the best coverage and my sister learnt she didn't need to wear as much makeup as she did. Me? Well I learnt that Benefit is actually a brand I can love as much as say, Illamasqua, and when I went back to work I could not stop looking at my glowing skin. I've since recreated it at home this weekend and theres a noticable difference on how natural and gorgeous my skin looks. It's all down to this little gem Pore-fessional, which there will be a full review of very soon. I'm very excited about the future for Benefit, as Lisa showed me one of their new eye palettes they're working on developing into the range which proves that Benefit can do colour just as well as their competitors.

There's going to be lots of very exclusive giveaways and more 'looks with Benefit' coming up on my blog, which you wont be able to find anywhere else so make sure you stay tuned and come back for your chance to win some Benefit and some more tutorials inspired by my pale girl look ready for Christmas - ooh i'm excited! 

What do you think of the classic 'London Lipgloss' look Benefit created on me? Would you wear it to work/college/uni/daytime? Do you love any of these products? Have you now got your eye on anything featured? I tell you what, I want that Christmas gift set - how gorgeous?? I need to say a big thankyou to Lisa and Jasmine for spoiling all three of us - my mum and my sister went home absolutely beaming with joy - best makeup day ever!

Love, Zozo 
x
Disclaimer: All products featured were used on me at the Benefit store, Carnaby Street. Some of them are PR samples given to me for my consideration and this 'look inspired by' was created in partnership with Benefit Cosmetics.

Also, all the photos featured here were taken with my brand new iPhone 4S - do we like the photo quality? Am going to have to start taking it to events and using my DSLR just at home 'cause it was breaking my back!