Zoe is a Forbes '30 under 30' finance pro, style writer, presenter and panellist, working for a fashion startup and trying to live that best life in the most IRL way possible.
Zoe is a Forbes '30 under 30' finance pro, style writer, presenter and panellist, working for a fashion startup and trying to live that best life in the most IRL way possible.
Okay, I’ll admit it. For a long time I thought face masks were pointless. Do face masks work? Do they even make a difference? For a long time I didn’t believe in them at all. And then it all changed.
I genuinely think I’m a bit addicted now. I’ve got a whole drawer just full of face masks! I realised that the main reason why I never understood what they can do was because I was using 49p pouches of gimmicky mud mask (chocolate bubblegum flavour or some bollocks like that), and when I did use them, it was maybe once every few months.
I’ve since realised that to see the effects (and appreciate the magic) – you need to follow three simple rules:
1) Face mask more regularly.
2) Don’t skimp on the ingredients
3) Use the right mask for your skin concern
Let me elaborate further.
How it works for me now
I now use face masks at least once a week – and sometimes up to three times, depending on how I’m feeling (read: how many days I’ve got no social plans)
I don’t rely on just one kind of mask either. Different parts of my face have different concerns, at different times. Have you heard of multi masking? Different masks for different areas of your face? Well it makes sense.
Face Mask Cheat Sheet
Mud based masks draw out oil and impurities. Great for big pores, my nose and the t zone.
Cream based masks are great for hydration, soothing itchy skin and anti-ageing. For me, that’s forehead, cheeks and neck. (Yep, don’t forget the neck!)
Sheet masks are the new “it” thing. They work on the concept that the mask ingredients are held close to the skin under the face-shaped sheet, so that the goodies are absorbed quicker and more effectively.
Sleep masks – possibly not even on your radar but I am a CONVERT. These are basically intense night treatments that you sleep in. And no, before you get ideas of mud all over your pillow, most of the ones I’ve tried are either like heavy night creams or gels which are relatively absorbed by the time you hit the hay.
Acid masks – whether it’s fruit acids, glycolic, lactic or enzyme masks, these work on the basis of sloughing off the top layer of dead skin to reveal radiant, smoother looking skin underneath. I tend to use these more in summer as my skin is more sensitive with colder weather.
These are the products that I’ve tried and would buy again. I do have a good list of masks I like, but first, the ones I that I consider as skin gamechangers.
Sukin Anti Pollution Charcoal Mask
First up – the charcoal mask from Sukin, a natural brand from Australia. I’m OBSESSED with Sukin. It’s organic, vegan, reasonably priced and lovely to use. One of the first brands to make me believe that natural skincare can pack a punch.
This clay masque feels absolutely sublime when slathered onto your face in a generous layer. It’s a classic mud mask that dries within 20 minutes, but it doesn’t pull at my face as much as other mud masks I’ve tried. (y’know, that feeling like your face is in a cast?!)
Ever since my trip to Australia, I’ve used this mask regularly and that’s when I noticed the difference. I feel like my skin has become less oily and smoother to the touch. Also, as a Londoner, I like the “anti pollution” purpose, but I couldn’t tell you whether it works in that respect.
It’s available in Boots and online but if you buy it from Lookfantastic via this link, I’ll get about 3% commission- WAHOO!
Antipodes Aura Mask
Next up, my favourite cream mask. It’s the Aura mask by Antipodes – another great beauty brand from down under, this one by way of New Zealand
The key ingredient of this one is manuka honey, the powerful do-all (read: expensive) honey. Manuka joney is antibacterial, so this mask is actually great for oily or blemish prone skin.
Good news it’s only £14.70 right now from HQHair here – that’s a third of RRP. GO.
So yeah – here’s a picture of it half used… MORE PLEASE.
Sephora Sleeping Mask
Finally – a more recent gamechanger. The SLEEP mask.
Fairly self explanatory, you apply a generous layer to your face and let it sink it for a few minutes before bed. Then you can sleep as normal (though, I’ll be honest, I do try and sleep on my back more than usual)
I recently discovered these Sephora Sleep Masks. Initially I was a bit sceptical. I don’t think they’re entirely free of nasties and they do look like mass-produced commercial masks. However, when I used these for the first time, I actually looked in the mirror the next day and immediately noticed a difference.
I love the Turquoise ones, the Purifying Algae masks (which are like a thick night cream) and the Green Tea mattifying masks (which are more of a gel).
Each pod has about 3-4 applications, so at $4 a go, I think they’re very well priced. I was so impressed after buying 3 myself, that I asked my American friend to bring back TEN after her Xmas break. TEN.
Finally – what would a post about masks be, without a picture of me in a mask?!
So, to summarise – have a regular treatment, don’t be afraid to mix and match for different parts of your skin and definitely try masks outside of the regular mud mask category! (watch out for Sheet masks…)
GOODBYE 2016! Another year has flown by and since I’ve had a few days of holiday, I’ve actually had time to make another YouTube video – 2 vlogs in 2 weeks?!
People always ask me, as a beauty addict who gets to try so many products, is there anything you’d actually pay for again with your own money?
The answer is yes. There are some real gems to be found and I’ve summarised my favourite products of 2016 in this video. If you’re more of a classic website blog reader (or you just can’t be arsed to watch and want to know like RIGHT NOW), then I’ve also summarised the hero products below. With shopping links.
Thanks again for reading, watching, liking, not liking in 2016 – it continues to make my little side-hustle an absolute dream to run. May you all have a fantastic and fulfilling start to 2017. (Or at least one that will start with lots of champagne..)
2016 Beauty Hero Products
Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque
A beautifully creamy clay mask, that dries within 15 minutes and floods skin with protective antioxidants. See ya later pollution!
My favourite foundation of 2016 – it’s lightweight, easy to use and super portable. The mineral formulation is better for skin and the coverage can be built up to cover blemishes. Recommend using a flat top brush with this.
2016’s biggest beauty drop and the first launch that I’ve been suckered into waking up early for. I thought I had every shade of highlighter but this is more in between blush and highlighter – it’s a beautiful burnished rose gold highlighter. Use it when you want the teeniest flush of colour without wearing blush.
Aurelia Skincare Botanical Cream Deodorant
A magical pot of deodorant! It’s free from any nasties but still keeps sweat and odour at bay. I tried a whole load of natural deodorants and this one was the BEST. An absolute continued buy for me.
Glitter Lips Kit by Beauty Boulevard
Slightly cheating since I found these in December 2015 but I’ve acquired two new colours this year and they’re equally as great. A one-hit wonder for instant party lips, you MUST have one of these kits in your beauty bag.
Finally – I could sing the virtues of cream eyeshadow sticks forever. If you find powder eyeshadow a bit difficult to work with, these blendable sticks are the easiest and longest-lasting way to build colour on your lids.
Did you have any stand-out stars of 2016? Tweet me your thoughts @FaceValueBlog or send me a comment on Facebook!
During the final week before Christmas weekend, I went to two Xmas parties with Depop and Yahoo Style. For stylish, sassy occasions like these, there was only one thing for it. GLITTER LIPS.
I’ve raved about these fancy lip kits for a LONG time now, but never actually shown anyone how to use them. So I took a camera along to capture my ‘get ready with me’ moments (including one in the Depop office ladies loo – the lengths I go to for you guys!) 😎
If you’re looking for an instant WOW factor, these glitter lips are ideal for your New Year’s Party.
BUY THEM HERE
Little shoutout to my talented pal The Goodowl (she’s gonna be a huge fashion designer, I tell you now) – who features in the video with me.
For more words and technical details, here’s the original Glitter Lips review that appeared on my blog when I discovered them last Christmas.
ENJOY THE VID and have a fantastic Xmas holiday, one and all.
Important: The glitter needs to be cosmetic-grade stuff, not just any old craft shop shimmer. Be beauty smart and buy safe, from reputable sellers (ie. buy here)
What do YOU think of the Glitter Lips? Did you ever play the “donut sugar game”?!
Tweet me your thoughts @FaceValueBlog or send me a comment on Facebook!
So. I was interviewed by SmartBuyGlasses for their London Style feature, alongside Josie from FashionMumblr, Zara from MouldyFruit and Anneli Bush. HOW ABOUT THAT.
First of all, I was completely in the dark as to why they’ve picked me – as a complete non-established, non-famous (not even Insta-famous) blogger.
Second of all, I wanted to stay true to myself and not take myself too seriously in the interview. Despite, the fact I think I sound like a real plodhead in the feature, I’m absolutely loving the end result. If anyone else wants to write about me, please feel very welcome! .. Anyone?!
|I did say I didn’t take myself too seriously..|
There’s been a huge shift in blogging towards ‘picture perfect’ girls who have immaculate dressing tables, never-ending designer wardrobes and breakfasts that would count as pieces of art. And as much as I’d love to channel that in real life, it’s just not me at all. I eat Sausage & Egg McMuffins and wear Rudolph pyjamas! 😅
Youtube videos and lifestyle blogging was born from girls next door, who could just as easily be your pal or your friend’s friend. I promise to continue being that person for you – regardless of whether you like my terrible jokes, poor diet or messy bedroom pictures. Thanks for sticking with me guys.
Read the full interview and London Blogger style feature here
And, in case you missed it, here’s the sunglasses feature I did with SmartBuyGlasses earlier this year. I basically run around on Oxford Street and babble passionately about all my favourite things to wear and do in London. Wahey.
What do YOU think of my first ever feature? Do I sound like a proper dork? Tweet me your thoughts @FaceValueBlog or send me a comment on Facebook!
When it comes to eyeshadows and the best quality eyeshadow palettes, Urban Decay is a bit of a fail safe for me. Their eyeshadows are often that lovely soft, almost buttery, kind of powder which makes blending and application an absolute breeeeze.
Urban Decay Cosmetics are probably most known for their Naked eyeshadow palettes – a range of wearable neutrals in different warm/cool tones, but what about their more creative, adventurous colours?
When I first started buying UD Cosmetics back in the early 2000’s, all my palettes were full of glittery, vibrant shades. I’m talking shimmery silvers, intense leaf greens and beautiful cobalt blues (oh gawd, back in the day when I actually DID wear colour on my eyelids). But in a world of Naked 1’s, 2’s and Smoky’s, where did all the colour go?
Well I tell you now. I FOUND THE COLOUR.
Enter the new Urban Decay FUll Spectrum Eyeshadow Palette. This limited edition set has 21 shades of their iconic eyeshadows. It’s actually the BIGGEST number of eyeshadows in any UD palette, but we all know, it’s not just about the size right?
UD have cleverly organised this palette by colour family and in a range of matte and shimmer finishes, so you can have a coordinated coloured eye, with dimensional colour. This makes it a MILLION times more wearable, for those, like me, who don’t do colour very often! (seriously, the only time I wore colour this year was this red eyeshadow look).
Oh yeah, and it’s housed in an absolute beauty of a case. HIYA.
I know it’s not just about the case – but LOOK AT IT. It also houses a giant mirror inside and a high-quality double ended brush.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt, a good brushes can make a huge difference. One end is a Tapered Crease for laying down shadow, blending in the crease and outwards. The other is a denser Shadow Brush to pack colour under the eye eye, in the socket and out corner. As with most brushes in UD Palettes, it’s very, very capable and worthy of a buy separately.
Logistics covered, let’s take a closer look at the important bit. The colour.
So, apparently each eyeshadow in the Full Spectrum Eyeshadow Palette features UD’s Pigment Infusion System – a special blend of ingredients that gives every shade that velvety texture, rich colour, serious staying power and blendability.
I’ve taken the liberty (aka DELIGHT) of swatching each row on my arm and I can report that there are some discrepancies here. Some of the shades are the perfect model of what an Urban Decay eyeshadow is about – velvety, intense, blendable and long lasting.
Unfortunately, some of the shades are letting the side down and ‘must try harder, C+’ – I’m talking pale, gritty and frankly weeeeak pigment performance.
It’s quite evident from the swatches below which colours look intense and full, and which look powdery and dusty – take a look!
All courtesy of the Urban Decay website, because as if I can be bothered to detail all 21 shades eh? 😉
Full Spectrum Palette Swatches
So this is it, the whole sh-bang. Every colour, in it’s own little coordinated colour family.
Putting them all next to each other, you can see the lovely looks that you could create with these – even the red/orange family looks quite wearable to me.
Overall – if you wear colour then this is a great investment for you. The shades can also be mixed together to make other shades (if you can remember your colour wheel from primary school – hands up?)
To be honest, the quality of this palette does not live up to it’s cult sister palettes due to the inconsistencies in texture but the colour choice is excellent and it’s a really decent selection if you’re a makeup fan who likes having options.
If you’re looking to have one just ‘in the back room‘, then this is a great choice. The casing also gives me the sort of thrills that I’m sure only addicts will understand.
At RRP £43, it’s pricey (though still cheaper than this Charlotte Tilbury Sculpt & Glow) but I mean, it’s pretty much the only colour eyeshadow palette you’ll ever need. It’s got CHRISTMAS PRESENT written all over it.
Given that my eyeshadow preference is pretty much permanent taupe, grey or black (like my heart LOL), it’s not something I would buy for myself but I have colour-loving friends who willingly took this off my hands.
SHOPPING LINKS THAT GIVE ME COMMISSION
Buy here from House of Fraser – where they often do a 10% off deal
Or here from John Lewis – where they always guarantee to match competitor deals.
What do YOU think? Is coloured eyeshadow your jam? Would you consider getting one “for the collection”?
It’s that time of the year again – the credit card comes out, the ridiculous self-justification starts (“I need these shoes because… I HAVE FEET”) and the scramble to get a deal leads to you spending an hour glued to your computer, in the hope of saving a few pounds.
Personally, I love Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Cyber Weekend, Black Friday Week – whatever the shops are calling it these days. It seems to have extended well past just one ordinary day and into a week-long extravaganza of red signs and “REDUCED” stickers.
I use the time to try and be organised by buying Xmas presents in advance. And, I’d be completely lying if I said I didn’t treat myself at the same time. Spend to save? It’s my new mantra.
I’ve saved you the hassle of trawling for codes – here’s a summary of the best bargains and deals to look out for. STARTING TODAY.
(As ever, please click through the links below with wild, reckless abandon, since I get commission on any sales made from them – whoopee!)
Lots of deals going on at Superdrug, including free next day delivery to store or free standard delivery for orders over £10.
Personally, I use this time to stock up on things like cotton pads and eye makeup remover but my eye fell on the new Nicki Minaj Onika perfume – if only for the crack of it all.
I mean, look at the bottle – trust the Minaj to make her perfume bottle an actual bust of herself! Superdrug are doing it for HALF PRICE, so it’s only £20. Ideal for any Minaj fan, or even just a bit of a giggle.
HALF PRICE ON NICKI MINAJ ONIKA 100ML – WAS £40 NOW £20
I’ve only used Mama Mio and Mio Skincare products on occasion. However, when this offer popped up in my inbox, I realised that every time I do, I’ve always been really really surprised (in a good way!)
The deals this weekend are save up to 30% on Mama Mio and Mio, plus an extra 5% off with code MIOBF
i’m a big fan of this Workout Wonder Ball £25 (before discount). Okay okay, I’m not a fitness buff – I hold my hands up here, I basically used it after I did a free barre class THIS ONE TIME but it really worked the next day. Just rub it onto sore muscles and the aches are gone. Got one for myself, I was that pleased with it.
The retail giant is doing an “up to 50%” sale, in store and online. Who knows what that will mean, but I always check this for the shoes and jeans – I swear Topshop shoe prices are getting a bit unreasonable now, but at ‘up to 50% off’, I could be tempted. (God i’m literally, the best consumer ever aren’t I?)
Got my eyes on these bad boys! These High Sequin Stretch Ankle Boots are reduced to £59. I want. I want.
Super-reliable and my absolute online go-to. ASOS are doing 20% sitewide with code GOGOGO – ASOS addicts may have already spotted this as it went live this morning at 6am.
I’ve already invested in some new gloves (self-justification: it is winter and err… I have HANDS!) – the kind that have a cuff so you don’t get that cold draft of wind blowing up your sleeve. Genius!!
Pieces Leather Gloves With Cuff £22.40 after discount.
My favourite deal-day for Boots is normally Boxing Day (where they do 50% off all their Xmas sets and I go a bit mental..) However, the Black Friday deals this year aren’t half bad y’know – they’re very similar to what I’d see on Boxing Day.
My pick would be this Soap&Glory EXTRAVA-GLAM-ZA, which was originally £50 and now £25. It comes in a teeny house for gods sake – I MUST HAVE IT.
This brand is super high-end, super luxe and super too expensive for me normally, but I LOVE IT. It’s generally only reserved for birthdays but if you spend £100 you get a FREE gift worth £89 – from now until 30 November. Use code FESTIVEGIFT.
And it’s not rubbish gifty, mini-size garbage that you sometimes get with other GWPs. It includes their snake venom wrinkle-line freezer thing (NB actual product has a fancier name than this) and bee venom cleansing balm plus two other skincare supers.
There is also a great Black Friday promotion tomorrow (that I cannot tell you about, boo!) but it is worth checking out!
As I grew nearer to 30, than 20, I’ve really started to take a closer look at my skincare. I’m really into natural skincare at the moment and Caudalie is one of my fave brands.
They’re doing 20% off sitewide from tomorrow until the 29th. I would really recommend the iconic Beauty Elixir (also known as Eau De Beaute) but I feel like that’s a bit of a cop-out since it’s a huge cult product.
So, I’d also recommend the Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet. I know it sounds like a dessert but it’s great for quenching dehyrated or sensitive skin – this INCLUDES oily skin with dry patches, or oily skin that feels tight and itchy on the forehead.
(It’s amazing how many of my friends have this issue, i always thought it was just me and the strong products I was putting on my skin)
So, Boohoo are playing it safe like Topshp and stuck to a boring “Up to 50% off” line but they are chucking in free delivery with the code FREEDEL.
They’re also releasing special codes throughout the weekend, depending on what time you’re shopping the website. Those devils, they really know how to keep us on the site!
I went to their SS17 press day last week and Boohoo stock is really just getting better and better. They do a fantastic range of beautiful dresses that I have zero occasions to wear for. OH FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS.
I like this Boohoo Boutique Lola Star Print Maxi £35. I’d pair this with a black turtle neck and wear on Xmas day. A couple of Bucks Fizz later, I might even wear it without – W-I-L-D, I know.
Finery London – 30% off with FRIDAY30
Gemporia – 40% off sitewide tomorrow
Did you plan ahead before Black Friday, or are you just gonna click around and see what you find? Are you even bothered by Cyber Week?