what it means to be "a blogger" in twenty thirteen

Sunday, December 30, 2012
Photobucket

Photobucket

blogging - the future is ours.

You know, blogging actually dates back to the nineties. Back when I was still dancing around my living room at the age of 5, in the grand year that was 1994, the first ever blog was recorded. Blogger.com then launched in 1999 and history wrote it's own path. Blogging was originally designed as a web-log, a sorta online diary, if you will. You made your own and you wrote about your life, much as you would in a traditional pen and paper format. These days, blogging has become so advanced it is now a career for some people, and it's completely evolved and progressed with the current need for information and technology. You can read a blog on the train on your iPad, on the plane on your Kindle or even in your bathtub on your Android.

But you know what still makes me the most nervous when I hit publish? Those blog posts about me, about my life. You know the ones, where I pour my heart out, instead of reviewing a lipstick. It's the very core of blogging, the very meter of a blog's independence and individuality, yet also predominantly the most nerve wracking to set live for the world to see. I don't really think I get too nervy in life, but telling the world how I feel, sets me off like a spark. Actually, that's a lie, first dates get my heart pounding - I learned this very recently, but that's another story.

Twenty thirteen is yet another year in this decade we call home. It's not going to live up to it's big sister of twenty twelve, a glorious year of Jubilees and Olympics, but it's ours for the taking, and ours for the making. We are the generation to shape the future. A lot is going to change, I can feel it in the water. Blogging is a serious business now in the world of beauty and fashion, there are companies that look after bloggers, agencies that sign bloggers and every single beauty brand on this planet is clamouring over each other to get their products in the hands of bloggers. Cue catfights, guru trashing forums, tumblr hate, twitter bitch fests and general envy, hatred and lack of support. There's nothing you or me can singlehandedly do about this, for it delves far greater than bloggers themselves these days - I firmly believe most users on *that* forum aren't bloggers, but readers.

What can you do about this? Well, not a lot. You must never feed the troll, delete hatred and ignore tweets, but don't take it to heart. Your blog may have 10 readers, your blog may have 10,000 readers, but due to the Internets anonymity access, we are all a target. In the last six months my attitude toward this and blogging in general has changed incredibly drastically. I used to care a lot more about what people thought of me, I used to cry over nasty tweets. I used to be naive about bloggers using other bloggers as stepping stones and companies using bloggers for free promotion. But now I have seen the much clearer picture, the truer reason to blog and it comes in the format of happiness. I simply don't accept things, or blog about things that feel like a chore to me, a slug, a long drawn out process of making my blog a space where it's not really me, and it's been upsetting me of late. I hate that in December I published only 5 blog posts, that's not what i'm about, but I would open my blog up and just want to delete it all in one go.

I think for the future we all need to take a step back and re-evaluate who we are and what we do. While right now, blogging as a sub-culture of online journalism is great,  don't ever underestimate the value of your readership. They might love you one day, but stick yourself in a rut or re-blog press releases and you'll see them dwindle. Also, a holier-than-thou attitude is never going to go down well, some may be classed as "big" bloggers and others as "small" bloggers but don't ever forget the basis of the appeal of a beauty/fashion blog - the fact that you *arent* a celebrity, and are just a real person.

What I learned when I had my phone stolen - and I do genuinely believe the theft was fate - was that i've been taking my life far too much for granted. Good god, you would not believe how glued I got to that thing. Have you ever looked up in London? Like, really looked? I hadn't until I lost my phone... I was stopping, gawping, looking, watching - taking in the sights and smells of the world around me. I know it's precious and incredible to have memories stored on a little device, but once in a while you just need to pop the phone down, and enjoy what's happening infront of you. Live off the grid, live just for you. It's not easy, I feel like i'm weaning myself off it at the moment, as it's incredibly addictive and beyond satisfying, but I believe there are some things in life we need to enjoy on a basic level, not as bloggers, but as humans.

I never really like to be like, heed my advice, but I think success in blogging next year lies firmly in staying incredibly true to yourself and blogging your life as it happens. Speaking personally, I love to see the latest lipstick, but i'd prefer to see it on you in your local pub on a Friday night. Because you are real and you are you. No one on this planet is you, and you must never forget that. There are an estimated 150 million blogs in existence right now, why the hell would you ever want to be just like everyone else and blend into that statistic?

Whatever happens, don't compare yourself to any other girl. Whether you're just a blog reader or a blogger yourself, blogs are inspiration. Don't follow suit with blog posts, write your own, make up your own tags and haul videos. If you see a style blogger you like, don't become a carbon copy, take inspiration and create your own style bubble. Explore your own little world, and every single day be proud of you and your little corner of the Internet.

Dive into blogging, and dive into life. Create the future - for it is ours for the taking, and it will never be again for as long as we shall live. This year is important to our generation - don't waste it away.

Everyone and nobody is a blogger. Blogging is a state of mind. And a state of undress. And just cos you blog it doesn't mean it'll come. - @mikediver
Love, Zozo
x

dusk til dawn party look

Friday, December 28, 2012
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

party challenge! dusk til dawn using bourjois, label m and featuring miss selfridge

So Bourjois contacted me to take part in a blogger challenge where I would need to recreate one of Miss Selfridge's fabulous Get The Look tutorials and create my own look inspired by it. I chose Dusk Til Dawn, not only cause it symbolises how I like to party, but also had the best clothes and look I felt. I picked the gorgeous baroque tee and lace cut shorts and went about creating the look to go with it.

The eyes were created using Bourjois's new Kajal liner, swooped all across the eye and then into a small flick. The black was then coated in their Smoky Eye trio eyeshadow, using the blackest black - which is super pigmented btw, very impressed, and then finished with a little of their pencil eyeliner.

I used their 1 2 3 Perfect Foundation which I was impressed by - my first time using a Bourjois foundation and the match for my skintone was great! It also applied quite softly and water based, similar to my YSL Touche Eclat. I really like this kind of coverage, it sinks into the skin and doesn't leave it feeling cakey or leave foundation everywhere. Perfect for partying dusk til dawn. Finished with a swoop of red lipstick and pow, we're done.

I did the hair by using a hair donut to place the beehive, then backcombing the hair all around it before pinning securely into place. Not gonna lie, my sister helped me out a lot. If you can get a helping hand for the back, might make it a bit easier til you've got it nailed! I secured mine firmly with the Label M Hairspray - the best smelling hairspray on the market!

So there you go, this is my version of the Miss Selfridge / Bourjois Dusk Til Dawn look, which I think is a perfect vintage style look for NYE! What do you think of the outfit I chose, how I wore it and how I styled my hair and makeup? Let me know your thoughts!
Love, Zozo
x

Disclaimer: All products used and clothes featured were provided for free for the challenge. Shoes and face are my own.

merry christmas, everyone

Wednesday, December 26, 2012




Happy Holidays from The London Lipgloss!

I hope wherever you are you've had a wonderful rested Christmas. I know for many the slug of going back to work starts tomorrow (I know some was today too but i'm generally speaking) so I hope you've had a good chance to chill out and try and spend some time relaxing. I think the meaning of Christmas is incredibly different from household to household, but for ours it's always been about family. Two days of close family interaction and time with each other for me is ultimate holiday bliss. We don't even really pay close attention to the tv, we don't go mad or huge on presents - just a few gifts between us - and we really spend time in each other's company, just enjoying every aspect of our family.

It's been a little different this year, as i'm living back at home I didn't make the annual trip home from London, and we all spent the build up as well as the main days with each other for the first time in five years since I moved to London. It's been an odd one for me, being completely alone and not having that happiness with a boyfriend that always seems to get illuminated over Christmas, but it's actually been blissful, stressfree and just me living for me. I've spent nights curled up with Mama on the sofa, my Dad took me to White Hart Lane last weekend for the pre Christmas Spurs game, and my sister and I have spent time gossiping and painting nails.

All of these factors have just hammered home to me how lucky I am that i'm blessed with the most amazing family, and also how important Christmas is to be with family. I didn't even know half the shops had a sale on today, nor did I even consider looking at it. I know for everyone it's different and who am I to tell you about how to spend your Christmas, but I think just don't lose sight of what the holidays are made for - aside from religion - they are designed and primarily always will be for relaxation, and spending time with your nearest and dearest. If you don't see them often, make the trip. If you don't get along, call a #yolo on it and get along. Put all your differences to one side, and be merry in each others company. It's always, after all, a time for love and forgiveness.

I've had the most wonderful Christmas, i'm stuffed to the brim of food (but I keep eating?!) and I feel good. As each passing moment or significant time in my life flies past and i'm on my own, I learn more about myself and my future. I hope you've had the best 48 hours and feel happy, and ready to face the new year. Tell me about your Christmas, do you have any traditions? What did you do?
Love, Zozo
x

Disclaimer: Written under the influence of a stupid amount of food. Like, seriously. Christmas jumper from Topshop.

last min xmas beauty shopping with asos!

Sunday, December 23, 2012
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Oops, last minute Christmas shopping ahoy!

God bless the Internet. Seriously. How much easier is Christmas shopping now the Internet exists? You don't even need to pop out to a shop if you don't want to, and you can make like I did and order all your Christmas presents online. I wanted some last minute beauty bits for my family though, and I knew the exact place to go for the ultimate beauty hub; ASOS. Today is the very last day you can order things with next day delivery on ASOS for guaranteed arrival tomorrow, and I thought i'd share with you my picks for Christmas from their Beauty store!

I picked up four bits last minute, ranging from L'Occitane gift sets to OPI and Illamasqua pieces. The gorgeous L'Occitane Hand Cream Trio was just £15 and the Cherry Blossom L'Occitane set was just £22.50 - absolute bargains for such gorgeous L'Occitane pieces!

I think this gorgeous Illamasqua Lip Palette would make an amazing gift for someone who hasn't used Illamasqua before but loves a good strong lip. It's also the perfect stocking filler for a big Illamasqua fan too! It's on ASOS for only £25.50.

For girlies who love to paint their nails, this OPI The Top Ten gift set is gorgeous, and wearable colours for all girlies. It's only £21 too so wont break the bank!

So men, last minute girlies or those of you just feeling spontaneous and after a little shop before Christmas, run to ASOS now and get ordering before Midnight with Next Day Delivery! What do you think of my picks from ASOS? Would you be happy if you got any of these for Xmas?
Love, Zozo
x

Disclaimer: ASOS gifted me the products featured.

is eye cream the biggest beauty fraud?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Photobucket

"aaargh, under-eye wrinkles! laughter lines, right? RIGHT?"

This is something i've been pondering for a really long time now and thought i'd weigh in with my thoughts on it. Eye cream. That product hailed as the miracle worker - often most plugged out of all in beauty advertising - has become somewhat of extra effort rather than an actual necessity. I find personally I notice absolutely no difference in whether i'm using an anti-wrinkle eye cream, or an eye brightening cream, or even something like Nanoblur, which seemed to have little to no effect on me. Okay, so you might argue I still have young skin at 23, but i'm not 17, and I know that early to mid twenties is the key time for skin prevention in the future. I do my bit for my skin, I drink pints of water and I eat healthily alongside my skincare routine, but honestly? Eye cream has been something i've tried tons of and noticed absolutely no change at all over the last few years. I'm really starting to wonder if we're all just throwing money down the drain y'know!

When you switch cleansers or moisturisers, your skin reacts and either behaves or misbehaves accordingly. I've switched up eye creams from rollerball applicators to squeezy tube applicators to just plain old in the tub cream and after years of trying - my eyes look exactly the same. I don't think as a nation we'd ever get the real truth from cosmetic companies as to whether or not our so called beloved miracle eye creams actually work or not, because it's of course a whole new product range that beauty companies can sell us.

So i've decided to look into the real core of skin and find out truthfully what the difference between the skin immediately under our eyes to the skin surrounding and leading to our cheeks and forehead is, just to see if these claims made by eye creams can potentially actually work. It is fact that the skin around the eyes is about seven times thinner than the skin on the rest of your face - makes sense right, it's a delicate area. For this reason, it struggles to stay youthful. This is because it's prone to expression lines from your eye movement and also dryness/lack of hydration in that area. But realistically, is an eye cream the answer to these problems? Isn't normal moisturiser good enough?

What I did about 8 months ago, was gave up the eye cream for good. Actually I passed it on to my ma. (She reckons she's had a little change, but nothing dramatic.) Instead I worked on different ways to make my eyes look brighter. See, I have a little problem with lack of sleep (blame Twitter) and lack of finding good concealer (big article on this coming soon paleys) so I need my face to look as crisp and bright as possible, without revealing my sleepy black eyes. I found a couple of really good ways that help and I thought id share them with you. Number one is to try resting cucumber on your eyes for a few minutes. The natural water base of cucumber I found really helped wake up my eye area - and also me, ha!

The best tip came from being inspired after meeting Emma Hardie. She showed me how to massage away wrinkles from the face - as one of the main reasons wrinkles appear is due to muscles not being toned/the blood flow not being awakened - so instead of purchasing an eye cream, get your usual moisturiser and rub it gently around your eye area in circular motions, always rubbing in an upward motion and never a downward.

Honestly though, I think eye cream is a bit of a beauty fraud, and no matter how much expensive stuff we throw on our soft undereye skin, our wrinkles and dark circles will always be there. What do you think? Do you think eye cream is a bit of a fraud or do you think it actually works? Get a bit of a discussion going on TLL! Please leave your thoughts below and let me know if you try the tips!
Love, Zozo
x

Disclaimer: Sorry eye creams, I wish we could be friends. Unfortunately for now, i'm putting you on the naughty step of skincare!

Second disclaimer/question: a new direction for TLL in actual coherent articles like this. What do we reckon? If you enjoyed this article let me know in the comments! 

sneakers create art, shoes buy art

Monday, December 17, 2012
Photobucket

Photobucket


Photobucket

Photobucket


Photobucket

Photobucket

| jumper: new look (mens) | shirt: zara | necklace: new look | leggings: romwe | shoes: converse |

I really like mixing up a casual street style with a more refined smart style, and my favourite way to do that is by wearing a shirt - this is a silk Zara one - with a jumper of some kind. I spied this jumper in New Look a month ago in the mens section of Oxford Street, and couldn't resist but take it home with me. Hey, i'm not saying i'm the worlds biggest Run DMC fan, but if It's Tricky comes on the stereo I know how to a bust a groove like its the early 90s all over again. In my day job at VICE, the office style is varied. From super casual to high fashion, it's always a contrast and mix of fabrics and textures. It's great for me because from day one i've always been able to express myself fully through my clothes and no one even bats an eyelid when I rock up in an outfit like this and it's the most comforting feeling possible.
Black Milk rule the world of coloured leggings at the moment, for sure. But there are a whole bunch of other sites that sell them for much cheaper and some of my favourites come from Romwe, where they sell them for $26. Amazing. These ones are quite bold and colourful but theyre less bright on the back, so you don't feel super self concious when walking about in them. They're really comfy and they're elasticated round the waist so they don't feel suffocating or too tight like some super spandexy style ones can do. I really rate them - I have two pairs from Romwe now and I love them both.

As always, sneakers it is for me. I'm a sneakers girl. Converse have made this huge campaign at the moment that's taken over East London and every morning I see it all over the tube it makes me smile. It's full of little sayings that embody what it's like to be a sneakers wearer, cause it definitely is a certain type of person. They include things like the title of this post, as well as "Sneakers go home at dawn, shoes go running at dawn." or simply "Sneakers would, shoes wouldn't." It's not necessarily a bad thing to be a smart shoes wearer but it's hammered the nail on the head as to who wears sneakers, and it's predominantly the creatives of the city. I can barely be parted with mine, even if i'm wearing a super smart black dress I still chuck on my chucks. 

What do you think of brightly coloured leggings like this? Do you feel comfortable in what you wear day in day out? Would you ever buy a mens jumper like this? Let me know what you think!
Love, Zozo
x

Disclaimer: Romwe leggings and Converse shoes gifted to me for free. Graffiti art featured is on Holywell Lane, Shoreditch.

sunday chit chat; life beyond the blog.

Sunday, December 09, 2012




So the weekly Sunday #bbloggers chat was about your blogging story, and what keeps you blogging to this date as well as what inspires you and keeps you going. I'm sure you've noticed, but i've been having a hard time finding motivation to blog lately and I figured now was the best time as of any to sit down with a cuppa and have a little chatter with you all. This is something I do most weeks, either whether it's with my friends on the phone, to my friends all over the world on Skype or just in the kitcken with my ma, but i'm a big talker in life. I sometimes think that you can lose sight of who the blogger behind the blog is and with something as materialistic as a beauty blog, it's good to remember that we're all real people with real lives and thus the basis of the blog appeal to begin with - something beyond a corporate giant. Something real. I'm no corporate or even business blogger, I do make money from blogging and i'm very privileged to have been to some amazing events and meet some amazing brands but honestly? It's so much more to me than that.

Starting my blog has opened my eyes to a world of girls that I never knew existed. Meeting people who are huge rocks in my life and make me happy on a completely daily basis from people who are kindred spirits to me and who i've cried and laughed in the arms of like Lily right the way through to the one woman who inspires me more than anyone else in the world: Jen, these girls have now become some of my closest ever friends. There are far too many to mention, but i'm sure you've seen our friendship world unveil on Twitter. A little about me, i'm a huge people person. I love people. I'm that girl that'll start chatting to a random person at the bar, or compliment a complete stranger on their hair or nails because i'm fascinated by people. I love people's stories, people's lives and even the way they style their hair - that's why I read so many of your beautiful blogs. Life is enriched by the fact that fundamentally we're all the same person but skin deep we're made entirely different, and that's what makes us who we are.

I think to go forward with blogging and to expand and enrich your own life as I have my own, don't lose sight of who you are or what you stand for. Don't sell your soul for a lipstick, be desperately poor, live off the grid, be creative, be happy. Skip lying in your bed and say "yes" to things. You're probably tired, maybe you've been at work all day. Perhaps you didn't have time for a shower. But if you're invited to something new and fresh, embrace it, grab it. Heck, I grab every single opportunity I get so quickly I could be considered to be snatching experiences out of offering hands. You might get drunk and get lost in the middle of your city, but you'll find your way home. You will meet new people and you will dive head first into things you never in a million years thought you could do.

Your blog is your space, and ensure that in 2013 you do everything it takes to make it yours. Personally, I will be shifting away from the solid product reviews and not really covering products singly any more, but blogging more about the lifestyle I live in beauty and digging deep into my make up collection to create whole looks, rather than swatches and low downs. I hope you enjoy this as much as i'll enjoy revamping and giving a new lease of life to TLL. Don't be a sheep, do a Snoop and be a Lion. In 2012, bloggers influenced so many of the fashion world's decisions, creating nail trends, causing a ruckus, and generally sticking it to the man that we know our shit and we intend on creating the future. Stand up tall, create your trend, be your own person and say yes to everything that comes your way. It wont hurt you, don't be afraid.

Remember, people don't sit up in years to come and tell their kids about the night they got an early night's sleep, do they? I'm definitely going to hell, but i'll have all the best stories to tell.
Happy Sunday, Love Zozo
x