top ten single picks of 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011
It's nearing that time of year where we all begin to look back through photo albums, tumblrs, blogs, twitters and ipods to find out how we spent the last year that seems to have whizzed past quicker than we can remember. One thing that is very personal to someone and that can really shape the nights you spend with your friends or the moments you spend alone is the music you choose to consume and I really feel it can say so much about a person that you may not otherwise feel comfortable expressing or may otherwise not know how to express. I really think this is one of the best things to look back on the year with, too. I've had a truly fantastic year, I don't need to really dwell on it too much because you've been there with me every step of the way and I don't want to bore you again - but one thing you've not known is what songs i've soundtracked my year with along the way and I hope some of you might agree, some of you might find a new favourite or may just even enjoy reading this so without further ado, here's my top ten singles released in 2011 and why:

10 - Ben Marwood - Singalong - This Is Not What You Had Planned
 


Not only is Ben a truly fantastic guy, a scholar and a gentlemen, he writes fantastic songs too. This one is most ironic *har har har* because it is actually a massive singalong and it's brilliant. It's sarcastic, it's dry and it's totally Ben. This video was filmed when I was on tour with Frank Turner and Ben supported, so it's a video full of memories for me. I have loved this song since Ben started playing it live and it's totally captured that moment of the gig on record. This song always has me up the front bobbing along and I think it's message is so simple it can resonate with everyone.

9. Patrick Wolf - The City - Lupercalia


I owe loving this record to Del, because Del heard it and instantly said "this song will soundtrack our summer" - and it absolutely did. It's very catchy, very upbeat and I really dislike Patrick Wolf actually so to like this was a big surprise. This is a big hit and will make you feel good as soon as you put it on. It's that piano riff that gets me - love it! When I know I like a song, I can keep putting it on out of the blue and it wont annoy me, or make me groan. Everytime I hear that opening riff of this song a little smile pops on my face - and that's how you know it's a tune.

8. Dananananakroyd - Muscle Memory - There Is A Way



Dana split this year and we attended their last ever London show at KCLSU back in the autumn. If we're being super pedantic this isn't my favourite Dana song but def the best off the newest and final album in my opinion. It's so catchy, has everything you'd expect from a Dana tune but also is unique in it's own right. At KCLSU this got a massive reception and had everyone up on their feet dancing (and Del who spilt an entire pint of Snakebite on me and actually made my skin pink...grr)!

7. Frank Turner - I Still Believe - England Keep My Bones



I couldn't really not include Frank as he's always been a part of my music somewhere. (!) This song resonated with me the most out of England Keep My Bones and it always seems to get the crowd going. I heard it the first time Frank played it live, wobbly, with his guitar by himself and telling the crowd the lyrics so we could participate and I liked it then and there. I heard early demos and spent time chatting to Frank as he was writing and recording the album and it makes me so happy to see this song now being sung by millions all over the world, people with tattoos of the lyrics and meeting the people who say it's changed their life. How could you not warm to it really? Again it's a simple heartfelt message that will make you feel great once you hear it and will have even the most hardened square up on their feet shouting 'I still believe!'

6. Tubelord - In Greenland - Romance



Del and I, back in the summer, visited Kingston University one Sunday afternoon to sing about horses over and over with the Tangled Hair boys (and WAGs!) and had no idea about what the track would sound like. When Tubelord released Romance later in the year we knew the 'horse' track would be a belter and it's great. Definitely my favourite of the album. I love how Joe's voice sounds, I love the bouncy upbeat music and I think this is something a lot of people will enjoy listening to. I can just hear Del's voice in the 'horses' bit (he's got a loud voice) and every time it makes me smile loads! I will never forget that day and Del and I often walk around the flat singing 'hor-ses, hor-ses..' haha.

5. The Naked and Famous - Punching In A Dream - Passive Me, Aggressive You



This is another tune Del found and Del absolutely loves it. It will no doubt feature in his top ten too! It took me a while to warm to this, I have to say. At first I shrugged it off as another MGMT style song and as being a little boring. Then I really listened to it properly. This is quite a bad trait of mine actually I can be known to be quite dismissive of a song at first until i'm like, yeah actually this is great, and this song was one of those. It's got so many elements to it and above all it's just.so.catchy! One to watch, I think..


4. The Vaccines - Norgaard - What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?




Del and I both have to eat humble pie on this one as we remember earlier in the year listening to The Vaccines on one of XFM's late nighters and both hating it. To be fair, I still hate that song in particular, but when the album was released we had to pick it up to add to our DJ set as we kept getting requests for it. My personal favourite from the album is definitely Norgaard, punchy and short it's enough to get you dancing and works perfectly to build into the next song usually of the same nature and tempo. It's definitely obvious they owe a lot of their sound to a lot of older band sounds (most notably The Smiths) but this is a belter of a modern tune. And I love Jay Jay Pistolet so...


3. Example - Midnight Run - Playing In The Shadows





I know a lot of people pen this as one of Examples' worst songs actually but I really like it. There's something about the grimey slow beat in the chorus that I love, and i've always been a fan of sounds like The Streets - and I can hear the influence in this song. There's so many different melodies happening if you break it down and more than anything the production values on this track are amazing as well as the dark lyrics and general vibe. It's definitely not everyone's cup of tea - Del thinks this is one of the worst songs Example has ever done - but something about it is calming for me and it's always the first song that goes on when I turn on my iPod/phone. Watch the video too because it's made by one of my oldest friends, Adam Powell. 


2. The Wombats - Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves) - This Modern Glitch





Seriously I LOVE this song. How stupidly catchy is the melody after the chorus? I've lost count of how many times i've listened to this song but it just doesn't ever get old at all. It's always on every single DJ set and it's generally one of my favourite songs ever. I've only gotten into The Wombats recently but I love them. I feel that this song is one of those that people not even into indie music in the slightest would like and would enjoy dancing to, as it's just so happy and uplifting! 

1. Friendly Fires - Blue Cassette - Pala





Friendly Fires are one of those bands that just seem to keep bringing out tune after tune, I've lost track of how many singles from their first release were just massive tunes, but as soon as I heard this song from new album Pala I absolutely fell head over heels for it. It's quite 80's in parts, with the stylized vocals and the synth-meets-drum-beat but the chorus is massive and it's guaranteed to bring anyone to the dancefloor! I wish i'd discovered it a little earlier because it sounds like one of those tracks you need to dance around in the sun to...and I guarantee you i'll still be dancing in the sun to it in 2012. It makes me so happy to hear and when it comes through headphones you can hear every tiny little detail caused to make the song and it's just beautiful. I think this should be a song everyone needs to listen to!


Notable pop songs I think were the best this year include:
Lady Gaga - Marry The Night
JLS - Make Me Wanna
Rihanna - We Found Love
Example - Changed The Way You Kiss Me


I also spent a lot of time revisiting old singles that I love, and there are of course hundreds I could list but some honourable mentions need to go to:
Two Door Cinema Club - I Can Talk
Mumford and Sons - Little Lion Man
The Streets - Blinded By The Lights
Lone Wolf - 15 Letters
Million Dead - Smiling At Strangers on Trains


And there you have it ladies and gentlemen - the tunes I've been rocking in my ears all 2011. Really looking forward to seeing what comes out of 2012 and what might make next years list!
What do you think of my picks? Do you rate any of the songs? Did you find any new favourites listening to the videos on my blog post? What do you rate as your best single of 2011? Let me know!


See you in 2012 - Love, Zozo 
x

Disclaimer: All videos are copyright to original artists and are uploaded here via YouTube and do not belong to me or this website.

you're dressed like a victorian at a swimming pool

Friday, December 30, 2011
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| dress: minkpink | necklace: vivienne westwood | shoes: vivienne westwood |

I've got a real thing for velvet at the moment. I don't know whether it really is just because it's wintery and thats my favourite season for clothes, or whether i've just rediscovered how much I love velvet! I think too much velvet is definitely overkill, but this dress by Minkpink is perfect to calm those velvet itches! I love the old Victorian style print the dress is adorned with - almost like old wallpaper style. I've teamed my dress with my new Vivienne Westwood shoes as I think they work really well together!

I wore this dress on Christmas Day and it was perfect not only because it's so comfortable but because it's quite stretchy - helped once i'd eaten all that turkey! I've found myself reaching for this dress so many times in the mornings getting ready since because it's just so comfortable and easy to throw on. I definitely don't think you can ever have too many dresses like that, and I certainly have quite a few. This one I bought from ASOS but I don't think it's available any more. I love the style of Minkpink, it's definitely not all for me but it's quite vintage, very floaty and very laidback in style. They're all clothes you know you can throw on and it'll be comfortable and it'll be that piece you do reach for a lot.

I love my Minkpink dress and especially my new Viv shoes!
What do you think? Have you been covering yourself in velvet too? What do you think of this style for winter, have you been wearing anything similar? Let me know!

Love, Zozo
x

Disclaimer: The Minkpink dress and Vivienne Westwood shoes were both purchased by myself with my own money.

a very mulberry christmas and some christmas day nails

Tuesday, December 27, 2011
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A Mulberry Christmas gift, December 2011

I didn't feel it necessary to spring on you all a photo of everything I got for Christmas, those of you who follow my Instagram and Twitter will have seen me post some photos of the day as it happened, but I don't want to blog about it all in one go. I did get an iPod touch which made me very happy, means I can now try and control my commuter rage and bop along to some music on the way to work! Lots of things will also feature in their own post in the future anyway as they're all things I either asked for or will generally pop up in day to day life. Anyway! I wanted to share with you this one special gift as I did tease at it earlier on in the year. Last month I got an invitation to the Mulberry sample sale which is hosted basically opposite work, which is fab. I sweetly asked Del that morning if I could pick up something which he could give me for Christmas (a girl's gotta try!) and to my luck and joy he said yes! So with that in mind I chose this gorgeous Mulberry purse which looks to me like it's from S/S 11 due to the colours of it and stuff but there was only one left and I loved it instantly! Anyway it's been hidden away in our flat since that sample sale day and then on Christmas Day Del wrapped it up in Banquet Records wrapping paper so I momentarily forgot what it was and then yippeee, joy as the purse was finally in my hands! What do we think of it? I absolutely adore it and am so thrilled with my first piece of Mulberry! Thankyou Del :)

I also thought i'd share with you my Christmas nails as i've been loving seeing everyone elses. I've not plumped for the traditional red or green or anything actually remotely festive at all but instead went for something that would go with all my outfits, was fun, girly and a little tinsel sparkly! My sister did a grand job of being ace and found me the Teenage Dream OPI polish by Katy Perry for Christmas (thankyou!) and as soon as I opened it I loved it and knew it had to go on. I popped it on over Porchester Square - a classy nude - by Nails Inc and pow, Christmas nails! Here's a closer look:

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Merry Christmas everyone I hope you're all enjoying your Xmas break - I certainly am and am now stuffed to the brim with pork and turkey, cor.

What do you think of my nails? Did you succumb to Teenage Dream or is it not your kind of thing? Do you like my Mulberry purse and what did you get for Christmas? Tell me! Sending so much love and happiness wherever you are!
Love, Zozo
x

Disclaimer: OPI in Teenage Dream and the Mulberry purse featured were both gifts purchased for me for Christmas but the Nails Inc polish featured in Porchester Square was a PR sample provided for my consideration.

five of the best sparkly eyeshadows

Monday, December 19, 2011
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featuring Blingtone by MyFace Cosmetics, Sugarpill, Urban Decay and Illamasqua

I don't know whether just because it's Christmas and i'm really embracing the glitter i've found myself creating an eye look lately and then either smothering it in glitter or using glitter to enhance the eyelid. I found actually, that when I went through my eyeshadow drawers that I actually owned a lot of glitter eyeshadows, or glittery pigments. I decided to show you the five most reached for in the last two weeks ready for Christmas incase you're feeling a little Christmassy and want to treat yourself to a little glitter eyeshadow (a girl has to look good for Christmas!) First up is this rather cheekily titled mono eyeshadow by Urban Decay:

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| S&M - Urban Decay - £13 |
As you can see in the swatch it's quite a dark silver. I like the way it's almost grey toned and how sorta grungy it looks. This is a dry swatch but it does pop a little more when used wet. I find some Urban Decay eyeshadows aren't quite as pigmented as some others - and unfortunately this is one - but I like it that way because if this was too full on silvery it would look a bit much even for a party look. I've found with this I can layer it over greys and blacks just to add a new dimension. If i'm going for a light, soft eye, I use a little bit of this through the crease to make it dark but not blacked out. I think it's a great allrounder because it's less pigmented - if that makes sense! 

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| Gilt-y and Diamonds and Pearls - Blingtone by MyFace - £9.99 each |
I like these little mono eyeshadows because they're quite glittery. I don't find them to be massively pigmented - again we've established with full on glitter it's not my preferred choice anyway - but I think they're so pretty! They're so soft and make gold and silver really wearable. They're also insanely sparkly, the base is a pretty sparkle tone and then they each have glitter running through them. I think they're fab for the price, but don't go expecting crazy bright pigment. MyFace claim they're made with crushed pearl but I don't believe that massively - but I do think 'pearl' is a good way to describe the finish, just a little gritty though. Start with a cream base and that grittiness will stay in place and soon create you a gorgeous eye!

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| Chromalust in Stella - Sugarpill - £8.45 |
I'd wanted to try Sugarpill for ages and then when I found it on Cocktail Cosmetics a little while back I was thrilled! I'd heard great reviews from over the pond about their Chromalusts and so for now I just picked up one. Sugarpill is from America and can often be hard to source in the UK. Stella is a slightly plummy toned black - it's not pure black - with multi coloured glitter running through it. It swatches really dark and matte and is absolutely perfect for a smokey eye. What I love about it is the glitter running through it totally changes the way it sits when applied, because if you were to add just a matte black it can be very hard to work with and also will create a very one-dimensional smokey eye look. This you can build up to look wetter and more multi dimensional. When swatching it on my arm, I suddenly thought it looked a lot like Illamasqua's Zeitgeist pigment, so I quickly grabbed Zeitgeist just to see how they compare:

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Sugarpill on the left, Illamasqua on the right

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As you can see, Zeitgeist is more of a true black and has a little more sparkle running through it. Now i'm totally torn and can't decide which one I love more - but I think they do sit very differently on the eye as Stella isn't a pure black. I think though that Sugarpill is a bit of an American Illamasqua so you can understand the similarities. Either way, we all know I love Illamasqua but I absolutely adore everything about Sugarpill too. Really glad I picked it up!

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| Beguile Pure Pigment - Illamasqua - £15.50 |
I don't want to be dramatic or too loyal to one product but this is my favourite product possibly ever in the world ever. ! It's the most gorgeous glitter pigment with flecks of pink and green running through it - inkeeping with the theme of Theatre of the Nameless of course - and it is just beautiful. I have not found one shade of eyeshadow it doesn't sit on top of beautifully and compliment and I think this pigment is entirely why I've been so hooked on glitter for the last two weeks or so! This has not been put down, even when i've told myself to try a new eye look I still pop a bit of Beguile in my inner corners! It is impossibly hard to photograph acurately, It's one of those things in life I feel you just need to experience for yourself really but trust me it is beautiful. The last photo in the set up there shows you just how insanely glittery it is - look at all those lens reflects! Worth every single penny and I hope it doesn't disappear too quickly because I've a feeling i'm going to need more than one in my lifetime! It makes me feel totally beautiful without looking like a drag queen - because if you use glitter wrongly it can look a bit like that. This is soft, muted, secretive, but absolutely gorgeous. It can be used on cheeks, lips and even just over the body for a highlight. I encourage you all to pop to Illamasqua and try it! Then challenge you not to buy it...good luck ;) !

What do you think of the eyeshadows I picked? Do you own any of the ones I featured? Have you too been reaching for the glitters this Christmas season? My glitter addiction has only just started and I can see it going deep into New Year too!
Love, Zozo
x

Disclaimer: Urban Decay in S&M, Blingtone in Gilt-y, Blingtone in Diamonds and Pearls and Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Zeitgeist were provided for me by the brands for free for my consideration. I purchased Sugarpill in Stella and Illamasqua in Beguile with my own money.

essie meets urban outfitters for a hipster christmas nail

Saturday, December 17, 2011
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Essie's Carry On (A/W 11) Urban Outfitters' Electra

Lily properly raves about Essie and ever since I tried one a little while back i've got a bit hooked on them. I think it's because i've found it gives a proper thick coating that doesn't seem to chip too easily - mine have worn on me for about 5 days before chipping which is fantastic. Now, I know everyone raves about Deborah Lippman's Happy Birthday and also The Muppets for OPI in Rainbow Connection (which are just basically the same thing bottled, btw) and I wanted a bit of glitter action myeslf so when shopping for various hipster tit bits - you know, skull candles and necklaces with casettes on etc - I found this gorgeous multi sized glitter offering from their in house polish range named W.I.P. (I've no idea what that stands for!) and immediately snapped it up. The (cute, natch) guy that served me at the till even commented on how sparkly it was and I was like 'yup, basically why i've bought it!' Let's take a closer look at it because it's not a nail range i'm hugely familiar with:

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I like this nail because of the richness of Carry On as a base it's not as harsh as a black base - it's kinda plummy and very mulled wine-esque. Electra as a topping is sparkly and multi coloured but it's not massively in your face like Rainbow Connection. I think it's glitzy enough but in a way it's almost childish? Because all the glitter colours are yellows, reds, greens etc and there's no spangly silvers, it feels kinda childish to me and thats why I called it a hipster glitter look! The plummy base and the tiny green sparkles also subconciously scream Christmas to me without being like RED! GREEN! SANTA! and all over the top. I'm really impressed with the quality of the glitter - but then it is a glitter polish so I think i'd need to try a full colour base to see how well the polish actually lasts without chipping etc.

I got my Essie from eBay for just £3 and the Urban Outfitters polish was £6 in store.

Have you ever tried Urban Outfitters polish before? What do you think of my nail look? Do you agree with me or am I taking naming nail art looks too far haha? 
Love, Zozo
x

Disclaimer: The Essie polish was purchased on eBay for a cut price bargain and the Urban Outfitters polish was purchased in store by me.

stocking fillers for every budget

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
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Beauty stocking fillers can often be hard to find, sometimes you need a little help distinguishing between those items in Superdrug that are just 'makeup' items and those that are a little cuter, a bit special. I don't think all of these are conventional gifts, but they are things that I myself would like to receive, and that is the way I perceived this stocking filler guide.

I know everyones doing a lot of gift guides at the minute so I thought i'd help with some things I thought would make lovely stocking fillers, whether you've got £1 to spend or £40 - it's always lovely to gift someone lots of things to open on Christmas Day and I myself am a big fan of super cute little stocking fillers, so here's my completely shoppable (every link takes you right to the shop!) stocking filler guide to suit every single budget. Hope you can get inspired!

Less than £5


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| Chapstick Posh Lips set (available from Boots stores) - £3.99 | Vaseline Creme Brulee Limited Edition - £2.99

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| MUA Out There Plumping Lipgloss - £2 | Color Craze Glitter Polish (available from Beauty Base stores) - 99p

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| Vaseline Hand Cream - £3.79 | VIVO Shimmer and Shine Lip Gloss (available in Tesco) - £1.99 |

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| H&M Say No To Racism Polish set (available in H&M) - £2.99 |

£5 - £10

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| Look Beauty Double Hit Lip (available from Superdrug) - £7 | Look Beauty Nail Pop in Bling (available from Superdrug) - £5 |

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| FashionistA The Saturdays Magnetizm Polish - £6 |

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| Gold by Giles Deacon for New Look Nail Wraps (available at New Look) - £5.99 |

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| Stila Holiday S/S 12 Palettes - £10 each |

£10 +

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| YSL Touche Eclat - £17.95 |

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I really hope this helped some of you! I'll be back with some gift ideas very soon. 
What do you think of my stocking filler ideas? Would you buy any of these? Have you got inspired by this?
Love, Zoe
x

Disclaimer: Some of these products were provided free for consideration and some were purchased with my own money. I haven't listed them all as it's a long post - if you have any issues, tweet me @londonlipgloss.