ZBW

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.

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FV PRODUCT OF THE MONTH: December 2012

Okay – the first FACE VALUE PRODUCT OF THE MONTH! 

Pssst the plan is – each month I will blather on about my favourite find and why I fell madly in love with it. Then you go try it, fall madly in love with it too and the cycle will continue, sharing joy and spreading happiness across all of our beautiful selves……. Plan?


Regardless. This month, I bring you …..


BLOW DRY YOUR HAIR FASTER SPRAY!! 


BLow DRy your HAiR FASTER wonder SPRaY


Man, I love Lee Stafford. Seriously, this is the actual name of the
product and for once – it does what it says on the can! WHAAAT?



This wonder spray is an absolute dream.  It has cut my blow-drying time IN HALF. For reals – in half! For true, accurate ‘scientific’ results,
I even timed it. Results as below.


Normal blow dry time (no products) – 10 minutes

i.e 10
minutes spent with my head upside down, twiddling my thumbs. Boring.


Blow dry with BLOW DRY YOUR HAIR FASTER SPRAY?

 5 minutes.



I kid you not. 5 minutes! And the more I use it, the quicker i can get it done! I feel like an athlete trying to beat my personal best each time.. probs need to start getting out more?


How to use it?

For the product-holics among us thinking “but what about allllll my other products that I’ve hoarded up to use? Volumising spray? Heat protection spray? Hair oil???”

The BDYHF spray actually does have a bit of hold to it, and it also doubles as a heat protection spray. But for serious product fiends like myself, more is more. Thankfully, Lee Stafford says that you can also layer all your other favourite sprays over the top – why thank you, I SHALL.


I used this spray, with a leave in conditioning spray over
the top for fantastic speeeedy results – saving me time and in the long run –
reducing my electrical bills?!  (Hmm,
maybe I could get away with putting this on the Value page as well?)




The texture is light, no crispiness or greasiness. Do you sometimes find hair products are hard to get on the hair evenly? Because this is a pressurised spray, its very easy to get a nice distribution throughout the hair – huzzah.


And at about £6 for the spray, I think its great Face-Value
for money. Boots currently have a 3 for £12 deal too, bargain. Buy it, try it and save that precious time..



xXXXx

Zoe Bayliss Wong

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.

Top Cashback websites: Get paid to shop online.


Yes – you heard me. What if you got paid a percentage of your
spend every time you shopped online? WELL YOU CAN.


Welcome to the world of cashback sites.



The annoying man that does the MC Hammer dance. I’d like to see him in a fight with the Go Compare man.



I’ll be honest, I
never wanted to use them before. I have a million internet accounts that I no
longer remember my login details for, do I reeeally need another?



Also – I
thought it would only be teeny amounts and only from unknown shopping sites
selling things I won’t ever actually use. Like coloured hats! Seriously I have
so many hats that I never actually wear…. Anyway. 



Consider me converted!! Upon further research,
I realised that, actually, most of the sites I use are all involved. And, the
earnings are considerably more than expected, I’m talking hundreds of pounds
here.


Anyone shop at ASOS, Argos,
Debenhams, Tesco
?? All huge names which we spend hundreds of pounds a year –
all signed up to cashback sites.



How do they work?


Basically – you sign up to a site, and instead of going
directly to say, ASOS.com, you’d go through a link from the cashback website
which records your visit and then pays you X% of the amount you’ve spent.


Here are some example rates you can get:


  • Tesco Direct – 4.5%
  • Argos
    – 5%
  • Urban Outfitters – 6%
  • Boots Online (new customer)– 6%
  • New Look 7%
  • Lastminute.com – 7%



And it doesn’t stop with Retail – those of you looking to
signup for a new TV package, internet or phone package can also get cashback –
just search for the brand you’re looking for, I was really surprised at how
many big names are involved.


But of course – lets not dive into things straight away – here’s
a couple of sensible Value tips for you:



  • There are plenty of free cashback sites out there – you
    shouldn’t have to pay for anything, especially joining or withdrawing your
    money.
  • Cashback sites aren’t Government protected, so if the
    one you’re signed up to goes bust, you aren’t guaranteed to get any money
    that’s still owed to you.
  • Therefore, never store your cashback on the site –
    withdraw it as soon as possible!
  • Finally – and this is the hardest one for me personally
    don’t let the cashback cloud your judgement! Don’t buy a £50 product with £10
    cashback, when you can just buy the product for £20. Think of the cashback site
    as an easy bonus for shopping online as opposed to a money-making arrangement.



So which ones to join?

Due to the whole
going-bust-not-covered deal, I looked at the biggest, most established sites
such as Topcashback, Quidco.


Ultimately, I chose Topcashback because the rates for my favourite
shopping sites were higher than Quidco. Also, they even gave me a £5 high
street voucher for registering!





So if you’re interested in joining – heeeere’s my referral
link at Topcashback http://www.topcashback.co.uk/ref/zoew16 ) – naturally they offer a nice cash reward for
each referral I make! 😉


I reckon, based on my spending on Boots and ASOS alone, I
can probably get at least an extra £200 a year, all just by clicking online via
a cashback site….


Oh go onnn then.



xXXXx

Zoe Bayliss Wong

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.

Young Person’s 16-25 Railcard & Oyster

The end of my 16-25 Railcard (formerly Young Person’s Railcard) is nearing far
too quickly. To me, the definition of becoming a full grown adult is when you are no longer deemed young enough for a Young Person’s Railcard!



Among my friends, there’s discussion of when exactly is the last day that you can buy a railcard. Some say it’s day before 25th, some say you can get a three year railcard when you’re 25 –  I decided to confirm it once and for all…



I can confirm that you can actually buy a one year railcard all the way up to
the day before your 26th birthday,
so really you can be covered up
to the day before you turn 27. (So really it’s a 16-27 railcard?? Why don’t they just call it that?)


Not yet 24? you can buy a
three-year railcard up to the day before your 24th birthday, so
you’ll be covered until the day before your 27th.




Right – basics aside. Let’s talk about the use of Railcard with TFL..




Now, obviously you “16-25″s out there know about your
third off National Rail train fares and Travelcards, but did you know you can
also use your Young Person’s railcard with your Oyster?
Most of my friends have got a railcard, but rarely use it now that they live in London and don’t use overground trains.


ERROR. Your Railcard gets you a third off of Oyster fares at off-peak times (ie all weekend journeys and weekdays where you tap in after 9:30am and after 7pm)  All but one of my friends knew about this – the rest were really surprised to hear they could use their railcard with Oyster – so now you know!


How much could you save?

(yessssss! Finally, I get to get some numbers involved..!)



Price without Railcard

Price with Railcard

Zones 1-2

£2.00

£1.30

Zone 1-4

£2.60

£1.70

Zone 1-6

£2.90

£1.90

Zones 1-9

£3.70

£2.45


These may look like insignificant amounts, but they really
do add up. Even if you only travel off peak on the weekend – pne trip to the
shops and back, saves you at least £1.40 and up to £2.50, enough for another
single trip.


The big picture

Let’s say you use your oyster for one return trip every
weekend. With the railcard assigned to your oyster, you could get 160 journeys
for the price you 
paid for 104.

So if you live in zones 1-4 – that’s a saving of £145 a year
just on one trip a 
week. So if you travel more than that….. what are you
waiting for?



And all you have to do is take your Oyster and your Young
Person’s to any 
Underground ticket office and they will link them for you. Only
one visit to the 
counter for a whole year, and you’re sorted.

Finally – as a reward for reading – see my 16-25 railcard below, complete with photo of 19 year old me!! OHHHH MAN.



xXXXx



Zoe Bayliss Wong

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.

Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Foundation



I was never really into liquid foundation. Despite the great coverage of liquid foundation, I was paranoid it would clog up my skin so I used mineral powder foundation which was meant to be better for the teenage explosions on my face. However, now that the golden days of puberty are long behind – I’ve started to experiment with foundations a bit more….

I’ve spent a lot of time getting acquainted with a variety of types – I found cream-to-powder too heavy, stick foundations too thick and mousse foundations too drying. Mineral powder foundation was a lovely middle ground, but only helped with coverage and coverage is only one of many many cosmetic concerns.




For those of you with normal/combination oily skin, you may have met our pal, MR SHINE. He starts on your nose, then works his shiny way around your t-zone and will always turn up uninvited in any photos of you taken with the flash on. Thanks Mr Shine.


To be fair, there are a whoooole load of products out there that address this but a lot of them are either a) terrible or b) really bloody terrible. I’ve been through mousse foundations, primers, mattify this, oil free that and, honestly, nothing has come close to the anti-shine effect of this foundation.

Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Foundation: £21.50

Is it good?

I’m going to make a statement – it’s mattifying power is phenomenal!! I walk to work every day – (well, when it’s not raining and when I’m not late) – okay so I walk to work sometimes, but WHEN I DO, my face often ends up resembling the coming of Noah’s flood. Same for whenever I get the Northern or Central Line during rush hour. Gross.


However, I put this foundation on and boom – sweat and shine be gone! It’s a mattifying foundation but I really think they should call it “tinted anti-perspirant for your face” which probably shows why I’m in finance, not marketing..


The finer details

The finish is certainly not as matte as mousse or powder foundations, but I actually prefer it because it’s the right side of dewy to look nicely natural. Shine-purists out there may want to quickly dust a light coat of powder on top.


Colour wise, there’s a wide range of shades out there which most Clinique counter girls are absolutely BUSTING to apply across your cheeks in stripes next to each other. Seriously, I looked like some sort of bizarre foundation zebra but it is a great way to pick the best shade for your skin.

The picture below proves why you should never pick a foundation based on the back of your hand! Always try the foundation on your face and not directly under those florescent lights they use to light up the make-up aisle.

I understand though that trying foundation on your face is not always possible. To be honest – battling a group of teenagers for a spot at the tiny mirror in the Boots makeup aisles can be rather trying on your self esteem – especially when they refer to “the Year 11 Prom” whilst trying the same lipstick as you.

FACE VALUE TOP TIP.  Bring a sample of your existing foundation/concealer on a piece of card – and then try the testers next to them. Obviously fold the card before you put it in your bag.

Final Thoughts?

For those of you prone to an outbreak, fear not, it’s oil free and non-comodegenic which is just the posh way of saying it doesn’t block your pores.


As you can see, post-foundation there’s been a big improvement in texture, but it’s still dewy enough to look quite natural. 


The coverage is perfect for daily use, but it’s not industrial enough to cover all beauty sins – extra concealer needs to be used for big blemishes.

But for me, this product is not about the finish or the coverage – it’s about the shine prevention!


This is definitely a great foundation for those who are prone to the shine monster, and for those who (like me) just can’t stop walking so bloody fast…



xXXXx


Zoe Bayliss Wong

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.

Welcome to Face Value : THE FIRST POST


Hello dear appreciated reader and welcome to the first ever Face Value post!

What to talk about what to talk about? Politics? Motoring? Just kidding, that’s definitely not what you came here for. Let’s not rush into things just yet – we’ll start from the beginning…..


 

 

WHAT IS FACE VALUE?

Face Value is a blog which combines my love of beauty products and my day job as an accountant – the most glamorous career you could ever bestow upon a girl..!

WHY HAVE YOU STARTED A BLOG?

I used to blog when I was a teenager but it was about boys and embarassing teenage 1st world problems which obviously I have now got under control since I am basically a GROWN UP now.

 (for ultimate laughs, you can check it out here but don’t judge me, puberty does ridiculous things to a girl!)

I’m always talking to friends about products I’ve used, products I love, products that are crap and I just thought getting it all down on the same page would save me saying the same thing over and over again. 


And also spare my poor friends who are subject to my constant poor chat. (sorry guys)

ANYTHING ELSE?

I’d like to apologise in advance for the extreme overuse of exclamation marks. I just get a bit carried away sometimes!! (Oh man, I just did it again, sorry)



So there you go, the full Face Value story. 

 


Oh – and one last thing – I’m going to finish off this first post with a picture cos “The Do’s and Don’ts of Blogging” say I should always include a picture. And also should not use too much punctuation or swearing, and I’ve blatantly ballsed that all up already, so let’s get SOMETHING right!!


THE FIRST PICTURE

Let’s start with the basics – my current “daily face”. No no, not an analysis of the multitude of sins happening on my skin at the moment, but a bit more about the multitude of products I use to hide them.

My go-to routine at the moment includes:


  • Benefit Browzings (medium)

  • Clinique Stay Matte Oil-Free Foundation

  • Maybelline 24hr Gel Eyeliner

  • Rimmel Volume Flash The Max Mascara

  • Soap&Glory ‘Love at First Blush’

I’ll talk about why I like these products a bit later on – can’t give it all away in the first post like some sort of details sluuut now can I? 





Thanks for getting through the first post, things can only get better from here……..right?



 

xXXXx

Zoe Bayliss Wong

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.