supporting indie businesses: 01 prairie charms jewellery

Monday, July 30, 2012
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Prairie Charms Jewellery bracelets

I absolutely love this community of creatives that have come out of blogging and the industry in general, and I love finding and supporting new and young entrepreneurs with budding businesses. Similar to some indie makeup blog posts I did before, I'll also be doing some blog posts about indie/blogger businesses, so if you want to get in touch with your business, email me at zoelouisehellewell@hotmail.co.uk. Todays post is about a new online jewellery store, called Prairie Charms. The store is still super new, and launched on July 1st, with a handful of gorgeous handmade items to browse through all by the lovely Stephanie. Something I also love about Prairie Charms is that 10% of all their profit sold from each product goes to the GOSH Kiss It Better campaign - a really kind gesture seeing how hard it is for any start up business these days to make profit, let alone donate a percentage of it to charity.

I picked three gorgeous little bracelets from Prairie Charms which retail from £8 each, and I was drawn to them simply due to their simplicity. I'm not really a huge jewellery wearer, so I don't go for crazy over the top things, but more cute simple bits that go with my clothing. The single bracelets all have a single charm on them encased in some pretty little beads and they come in a variety of colours and charms. The ones i have are a feather, crown and tiny little bow! So cute. They came so gorgeously wrapped up with so much attention to detail, I felt bad ripping it open to get to the goodies!

I love these little bracelets from Prairie Charms, and think they're a really sweet little touch to my outfits. Especially my tie dye red shirt as shown above! They go so well! Sometimes I wear all three together, and sometimes I just stick on a black one on it's own just to jazz up my top and match my disco pants. Stephanie makes a bunch of different things, and I also adore the gorgeous brooches she makes - i've never seen anything quite so cute and delicate! 

Check out Prairie Charms' store at www.prairiecharms.co.uk

What do you think of indie/blogger businesses? I love seeing what you crafty creative girls are up to, think you're all geniuses! What do you think of my Prairie Charms bracelets? Are you off to check the store out?
Love, Zozo
x

Disclaimer: The Prairie Charms bracelets were gifted to me from Stephanie, but I am not compensated for a feature.

opi vintage minnie mouse collection

Sunday, July 29, 2012
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Minnie Mouse and OPI Collection

Being somewhat of a nail varnish junkie, I absolutely love to shop other people's nail varnish stash. My sister is exactly the same as me and loves nail varnish as much as I do in life so when I pop home for a long weekend I love seeing what newbies she's bought! Luckily for us lot and for me, she let me have a play about with her brand new OPI beauts - the Vintage Minnie Mouse Collection. The whole thing is a kaleidoscope of reds with flashes of pink and they are so bang on the money when it comes to reflecting Minnie. There's four polishes in the collection so it's a smaller collection than some OPI ones recently but they're all absolutely gorgeous. The standout for me and i'm sure most of you is the pink one with tiny little hearts in it, called Nothin' Mousey Bout It. There was one colour as well that I just had to see on the nails, and that was I'm All Ears. Here's some swatches of the full collection and me wearing I'm All Ears.

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^ owww sorry about the skin on my little finger, it's something I do when i'm anxious! also follow me on instagram: @londonlipgloss

Of course it's very pink and red and girly, so this sickly sweet colour mix wont be to everyone's taste, but if you're after a bunch of decent pinks and reds, you'll love this. I'm a sucker for anything girly looking so of course it appealed to me immediately! As with all OPI collections, this comes in a cutesy little mini pack of four little 4ml bottles too if you don't wanna buy the full 15ml. I'm All Ears is different to The Color Of Minnie in that I'm All Ears has a properly blue pink glitter tint to it when displayed in the sunlight. If you Moust you Moust is a perfect jelly pink and for me totally embodies Minnie herself! The one with the hearts, Nothin' Mousey Bout It applies well but it is a little tricky and masterful to get them to sit in the right place on the nail. Make sure you get them flat and smooth them out with top coat to stop them flaking off the nail too.

With all OPI's i've tried I found with two coats they were perfect and dried to a smooth, even finish. They also didn't take a huge amount of time before they were touch dry and then bone dry - hour max.

I adore the Vintage Minnie Mouse collection from OPI! What do you think? Are there any you think are a definite must-have or is the whole collection a little bit of a miss from you?
Love, Zozo
x

Disclaimer: All four of these polishes belong to my little sister and she paid full price for them from Beauty Bay. She even bought a backup of Nothin' Mousey Bout It cause she loved the hearts! 

topshop make up autumn/winter preview

Friday, July 27, 2012
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Topshop Make Up for Autumn Winter 12

Earlier this week I went along to a Christmas in July press day with a difference - set out themed by the summer. Among the selection my eyes were treated to, I got a sneaky peeky glimpse at what's to come from one of my favourite make up ranges, Topshop Make Up. There are several new shades of products, as well as a couple of re-promotes but generally loads of new goodies to feast your eyes on! The range as shown in all the pictures above is a bunch of new stuff that'll fit in with the core collection and standard Topshop ranges, and this picture at the bottom ^ is a capsule collection on it's own right - kinda like the Sisters of The New Moon collection. Hope that makes sense. The collection shown above is also in sleek black packaging, the three nail varnishes are going to have black lids too - those are just prototypes with the white lids.

Now onto some new things, there are a handful of brand new additions to the range. First up, little lip balm pots in really cute little tins. There were four designs of these so I presume there will be four shades, but the pink as shown above was the only one available for us to see. They will be of a similar price range to the lip products in the standard Topshop Make Up range. 

There are also little glitter pots of pretty glitter! These are totally multi purpose and can be used for nails, eyes, cheeks, body...wherever you like really! Again there were four shades of these. One thing that really caught my eye was the Nail Art gift set, with two huge bottles of polish in, glitter pots and nail decorations, a nail file, a nail art brush and a cuticle stick. This will retail between £16-£18 so it's really reasonable I think for what it is, although it is slightly at the higher price end range for a gift set. The bottles of polish are larger than normal sized ones.

There's also a whole bunch of new nail varnishes, mainly glitters, with only one re-promote in the shape of Adrenaline, which is the Teenage Dream dupe. There's also a new lip gloss gift set, with three different large lip gloss tubes in.

Sorry it's all a bit vague, there wasn't a huge amount of set information provided, but I thought you might all enjoy nosying at the pictures and having a sneaky peek at what's to come for A/W! It will probably land in stores around September time, but I have no release information confirmed.

What do you think of Topshop Make Up? Do you like the look of any of these A/W products? Has anything in particular caught your eye? I'm excited for the capsule collection in the black packaging!
Love, Zozo 
x

Disclaimer: This was a press event and I am not compensated for any feature.

lush emotional brilliance makeup in store today

Saturday, July 21, 2012
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LUSH Emotional Brilliance Makeup range - launches globally in LUSH today

Last night I was invited into a little sneaky peeky at the brand new makeup range from LUSH before it hit the stores today. Good news for LUSH fans, as the arrival of makeup has been a really long time coming and it's been a good few years since it's previous sister range - B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful - unfortunately was discontinued for good. The range has several different elements but the bulk of it is made up of these little intense colour pots which have many different uses. Really, they're multi purpose, and if you view them as such I find it far more refreshing to embrace the range. There obviously are colours that are designed ideally for lips (bright pink) and there are ones designed for eyeshadows (bright gold) but really, they're all just little glass pots of colour and you can use them however you so desire, and however you feel best reflects your personality.

The idea of the range is I think coming across a little wrong online. I've seen some websites and writers penning it to look like mental hippy horoscope style makeup based on moods that conjures up imagery of tacky mood rings and useless symbolism, but in reality it's not at all. Imagine the situation, you're about to go make up shopping for a new eyeshadow. You walk into your nearest department store and you're greeted with the bright fluorescent lighting, and a bunch of girls that judge you the second you walk in, and point blankly to the product they recommend for everyone - the one the company want them to push. I know it's not always like this (although to be honest I usually shop in the individual brand's actual store, I find that much better) but anyway I digress, this new idea from LUSH is very LUSH, and it's really just a bit of fun. They have a huge wheel in store and they ask you to close your eyes, imagine white, clean space, and when you open it you pick the three colours that appeal to you first and immediately. From there they recommend the shades they think you'll love. Realistically, this is just common sense, if I close my eyes and open them and pick gold, what it really shows is that even if I felt I was unsure of the eyeshadow I wanted, my subconcious is telling me that what I do really want is the gold. (And yes I picked the gold.) I found myself chuckling and smiling and generally feeling good about myself while the LUSH girl told me why I picked the gold (which is called Fantasy.)

Something that really stood out for me were the designated lip colour pots, and I could not blimmin' wait to get the store's brand new testers all mucky (sorry!) and get them all over my hands. Here's a look at three of the pinkest shades:

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They're full pigment, long wearing - that was very hard to get off - and they're still moisturising. The main point of the LUSH range aside from being against animal cruelty is that they're all natural, and the ingredients are pretty much the same as what goes in their skincare. Pure, earthy stuff. You know you're not putting anything bad on your face at all if you pick up any of the new makeup range.

While I do think some of the products are a little too much towards the higher price range and I think that will put off your regular £2 bath bomb shopper, I think that if you're a huge fan of LUSH you'll love the products. There's so much else in the range including skin tints (one of these is so paley friendly it's unreal!), a mascara, a translucent powder and eyeliners. These are all things that are deemed "desert island must haves" so the real basics of makeup. It's all marked up around the £13 mark, the colour pots come in at £14.50 which is a little pricey but the pigment is fantastic. If you think about it being the same price as MAC for the lip products, yet actively against animal cruelty and also full of fantastically natural products - I certainly don't think it's too unreasonable although I can see some younger customers being put off.

I'm going to be trying some of the LUSH range over the next few weeks and i'll be sure to let you know what I think of all the pieces! However, and for all my international readers too, the global launch was today, so pop down to your LUSH and have a look.

If you live in South London or Surrey, be sure to head to the LUSH Wimbledon store, I simply cannot sing the praises of the store enough. I've been shopping in there for a long time actually but last night was the first time I went in there as "The London Lipgloss" if you will, so now they know i'm a sneaky blogger (hehe) but they've always been absolutely fantastic. I've been making trips there for 4 years when I moved to Clapham, and the service really is the absolute best on the high street. Huge thankyou in particular to Gemma, Sophie and Eve for showing me the range and making me feel so welcome and generally being fantastic and not pushy to any of the customers at all.

What do you think of LUSH Emotional Brilliance? Are you going to pop into your local tomorrow to check it out? Has anything caught your eye? Do you like the little glass pots?
Love, Zozo
x

Disclaimer: The event yesterday was designed for LUSH 'VIPs' who were regular and frequent customers to see the range before anyone else, and I was invited along by the press office to experience it myself.

ysl facebook devoted to fans palette & my makeup look

Friday, July 20, 2012
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YSL's collaboration with Facebook - Devoted to Fans palette

Yesterday I went down to Facebook HQ (geeked out big time) to spend the evening with YSL learning about their new palette in collaboration with Facebook. Always one to champion breaking the rules and being that brand that create the iconic pieces we adore, YSL have sparked controversy and talk around this palette, which is created for the fans of the YSL Facebook page. Having already peaked my interest at the combination of the words "makeup" and "social media" I was keen to take a look at the palette and see what I thought of it "IRL", as such. The palette is made up of four shades, a pearly white, a facebook blue, a purple taupe and a deep matte black. I know the blue might immediately put you off, but in the context of the shades it works beautifully. I immediately got to it and inspired by the look created at the event (which you can see above) I set about swatching and creating my own look. Let's have a gander:

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The shadows are soft but not breakable, they blend really well and apply beautifully. My favourite shade is the soft purple taupe, it's quite unusual and not really like anything else I have. I smoked mine out using a blending brush and swirling my brush into the dark matte black. I then lined the lower lash line with the blue, and applied the white to the inner corners of my eye. All four colours make a beautiful look and I really love the way it turned out!

Now, the palette is available exclusively on the YSL Facebook page, and there are only 1650 of them in total available to Facebook fans. Very exclusive! The 1650 that buy this, will also get exclusive Facebook content and let into perks and services through their Facebook feed. Somewhat of a YSL VIP, if you will!

Also just on a little unrelated side note, I had my nails done with the YSL polish at the event, and here's a quick snap of the colour I chose, Coral.

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YSL's Facebook Devoted to Fans Palette is available to fans only of their Facebook page and costs £39.

What do you think of the YSL x Facebook collab? Do you "like" this? What do you think of the look I created using it? So stoked to have visited Facebook HQ in London! Definitely fangirled.
Love, Zozo
x

Disclaimer: The YSL x Facebook palette was given to me free for consideration from YSL.

a sneaky peek at soap & glory's 2012 christmas gift sets

Thursday, July 19, 2012
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Soap &Glory's Christmas Gifting 

Now I don't know about you, but Soap & Glory's Christmas gift sets have become somewhat of an institution in my family household on Christmas Day. My mum always without fail gets me and my sister either a small set or one of the larger sets and me and my sister end up spending the whole year using all the products and only finally getting through them in time for the next Christmas! They're always a fab gift, they make both of us very happily quite easily and I believe if i'm not mistaken that this is the case for most of the UK come Christmas Day. I'm sorry that it's only July now and we still have half a year or so until Christmas, but I thought you'd all like a little peek at what looks set to be in store for S&G this year. The first thing you'll immediately notice is their slight change in packaging. It's been rejigged just enough to make it look even more vintage, but not to take away from the Soap & Glory branding. It's cleaner, smarter, feels more high end and I love the designs they've come up with this year.

The big round one you can see there is called Smooth Over Darling and it costs £35. It's got a Clean, Girls Body Wash, Scrub Em And Leave Em Salt Body Buff, Mist You Madly Body Spray (I love this!) and a shower puff. All the products are full size. This one particularly caught my attention because I liked the mix of products, it's very much a body pampering kit. The big round carry case is also a really good size for storing things in - I always need more storage!

At the other end of the scale and you can see it in the square pot if you look at the second picture down, Small Wonders comes in at just £10 and is choc-a-bloc full of little minis. It's got a mini Clean on Me Shower Gel, The Righteous Butter Body Butter, The Scrub Of Your Life Body Scrub, Hand Food Hand Cream and a Shower Puff. Personally I think this one is great for a secret Santa or as a little stocking filler - it's so cute.

Another couple worthy of note are Bubble Time (£18) which comes with a retro clock, Shower Trip (£18) that's got five "flight size" products and a shower puff which I think is incredible value - ideal for girls on the go, and also Glam Packed (£22) which is the soft bow shaped one in the right corner of the top photograph. Glam Packed is just make up, and it's adorable!

So there's a brief round up of just some of Soap & Glory's Christmas sets, there are a couple others I didn't mention that feature in the photographs, if you want more information just tweet me! Otherwise see you down the aisles for the annual Christmas fight over who gets there first...!

What do you think of Soap & Glory at Christmas? Is it a family tradition like it is in my house too? Do you like the slight new re branding? Have any of these sets already made your wishlist?
Love, Zozo
x

Disclaimer: I viewed the Soap & Glory Christmas sets at a press event and am not compensated for any feature on Soap & Glory.

new launches from stila cosmetics

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
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Stila Cosmetics Autumn and new launches Collection


Last week I had the pleasure of hanging out with Stila for an evening to check out what they're offering the beauty world for their Autumn collection, and a with a whole bunch of new innovative products on offer, I sure wasn't disappointed. First of all, I got to meet the fantastic Sarah Lucero who had flown in fresh from America for the event, and she chatted us through the products and how they looked on the skin. The first thing to note about Stila's new collection, is the slightly new direction in which they're taking. Fans of Stila will remember the gorgeous dainty drawings that used to accompany the packaging and the promotional images, and while they remain a part of Stila, they have now been brought to life with real girls taking center stage. I think this is a much needed modernisation of the range, while the drawings are gorgeous it's harder to relate to and also the real girls wearing the cosmetics helps with inspiration and aspiration. They've adopted a new tagline, which is quite simply "makeup your own rules" which again is right up my street. I love the idea of beauty being what you make it, and defying convention to create your own style, something that Stila are advocating in a big way. Thumbs up from me!

The first product that grabbed my attention is their new foundation - Stay All Day - which comes in an amazing 16 shades. I can report that the pale shade is infact paley friendly and suited me perfectly when I matched it to my skintone! While the foundation itsself looks great (I can't really report on it too much yet as I haven't properly tried it) the big draw for me came in the genius concept that is holding a concealer inside the lid. What a brilliant idea! It's a creamy yet thick concealer that is great for covering blemishes and dark circles. It's got Vitamins A, C + E in it too. It will retail for £29.50.


Stila are going bold this Autumn with an all matte 10 shade eyeshadow palette. Sarah Lucero again has had a huge hand in choosing the shades, having picked all 10 shades herself to suit every girl in unique ways. It also comes with a full size Smudge Stick in Halfmoon, which is a matte grey. This palette will cost £25, so it's great value for money. When I went to Malta, I took my Stila In The Light Palette with me and it was perfect, covered every need I had while travelling.

A product that absolutely blew my mind that i'm going to be running a separate feature on in the near future as I have a beautiful shade to show you is the Stay All Day (sense a theme?) Liquid Lipstick, which is a lip colour that's soft, silky yet dries to last forever. This was a huge talking point and what impressed all us blogging ladies at the launch because it simply delivered in it's claims. Different to lip jellies/lip tints, it's a full lipstick coverage but with the staying power of a lip tint. They're just £15 each which I think is very reasonable and comes in 10 different shades.

The last product is two new eyeliners to their range, one a Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner and one a Waterproof Eye Liner, which are both pearly white. This isn't a new concept, with Illamasqua championing the inverted white cat eye look earlier in the year, but the Stila one does come in a few bob cheaper, at just £13 each respectively. It's also got a different style of applicator brush, being softer than the hardened Illamasqua one - so it's really personal preference. I found I could get some really sharp flicks with the Stila one.

What do you think of these new offerings from Stila? Has Stila previously been a brand you've bought or has it slipped under your radar? Has anything in particular caught your eye?
Love, Zozo
x

Disclaimer: I was invited along as a guest of Stila but am not paid for any feature on the site.