Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Before and After

Okay so I know my 'Before and After' features are usually of people's faces, but in the spirit of all things festive (and as it is Christmas Eve), I thought I'd make this one a bit more tree-shaped. You like?

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas Activities

Ah I love the Christmas holidays; the smell of the tree, the constant munching ('Muuuummm where's the chocolate?!') the chance to watch Come Dine With Me on repeat (until everything narrator Dave Lamb says makes you chuckle helplessly). It's all good. Sometimes, though, it can get a little, well, samey. Here are some Christmas TV-alternatives I like to experiment with:

1. Stroke/cuddle/coo at the dog. He's unnaturally glossy because of this all of this additional affection.

2. Draw on the front cover of magazines which are lying around. I'm actually really proud of this doodle that I did on Sofia Coppola's face/arm.

3. Annoy Mum by getting involved in her festive baking. I made this unintentionally Simpsons-like creature. We made traditional angel and star shapes too but these have mostly been eaten (dunking them in tea is very, very satisfying).

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Clothing Swappery

Ooh I love a good clothes swap - the chance to get a load of new stuff for free? I cannot resist. An added bonus is that you get to see the back of your tired old togs. I held a 'swish' (another way of saying 'clothes swap') at White Stuff's HQ to raise money for amazing organisation Into University (

All the usual rules of clothes swapping applied but people also had to pay £3 to enter (all profits were donated to Into University). There were quite a few leftover threads in the end but these got donated to a nearby charity shop as well - everyone did well! Thanks to everyone who helped make the event such a success.

A lovely girly swap

Tara gets her swap on

Floral dress? Possible swap

The accessories table gets a good going over

Charlie surveys a lacy number

A possible stripy swap

Bonjo the dog steers clear of the action

So many clothes, so little time!

My favourite bit, the dress rail

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Beat the Frizz

Weather can have disastrous effects on our hair (flyaways when it’s hot, anyone?) but the worst of the worst has to be rain-induced frizz. A friend of mine came and asked me what she could do about her unmanageable barnet so I put together a program for her. Thought you might like to see.

Step one: shampoo your hair as normal. Use an anti-frizz shampoo

Step two: condition your hair using an anti-frizz conditioner. Leave it on for at least two minutes and rinse fully. Finish with a cold rinse

Step three: towel dry and apply a heat-protective anti-frizz serum to the lengths and ends of your hair

Step four: Dry your hair as normal

Step five: Finish by rubbing a very small amount of serum between your palms and lightly smooth over the surface of your dry hair (start from the back of your head and work forwards)

Step six: Use an intensive conditioning treatment once a week.

My favourite frizz-fighting products at the moment:

(Top to bottom)

-Fish Swish Fish Silky Smoothing Cream £3.99 A Pro Vitamin B5 smoothing cream to add thickness and shine

-John Frieda Frizz-Ease serum £5.99

-Lush Retread Conditioner £8.60 a silky weekly treat for your barnet

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Smack my Witch Up

White Stuff’s new online game, ‘Smack My Witch Up’ is so much fun. You can ‘whack, poke or zap’ your way to victory (and online vouchers). Genius!

Monday, 6 December 2010

HQ Hair and Nars

Last Tuesday I popped along to a brill event for HQ Hair and Nars. Along with drinks and nibbles, we were treated to a consultation with David Scheffen, a lovely Nars make-up artist. He taught my friend Sarah ( how to create an alternative eye for the daytime (she, like me, is guilty of sticking to a sweep of liquid eyeliner) and he showed me how to achieve a glowing variation on my usual look. He used the St Barts Multiple to highlight and contour, Nikel powder to even-out my complexion and Nepal eyeshadow (a warm, dusky pink). The product that really brought my face to life had to be the Orgasm blusher. Perhaps the brand’s best PR-ed product, Orgasm is championed for good reason. Its peachy tone and shimmering flecks make it an unbeatable glow-enhancer. David explained that while he would have loved to show me something brand new, this colour was actually the best choice for my skintone.

You can visit to buy Nars products online.

My make-up look

Saz's make-up look

David the make-up artist

Saz being made up!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Invisible Zinc

I was making up a lovely model (Rebecca) who had a particularly flawless complexion a few weeks ago and she told me about Invisible Zinc, an Australian company specializing in cosmetics to shield and protect the skin from damaging sun rays. ‘Why would I ever need sun protection in England’ I asked daftly. Because even the weakest sun rays can speed up aging, that’s why. I decided to give it a try.

Rebecca had recommended the brand’s Tinted Daywear, an SPF 30 tinted moisturizer. She had warned me that it would feel a little sticky at first (it did) but the combo I used included the Invisible Staying Powder which set it beautifully, giving my skin a smooth, translucent appearance, almost as if I had applied a serum, SPF moisturizer and then make-up primer, foundation and powder. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that these two products can perform the job of five others.

Another unexpected bonus was that, because Tinted Daywear contains Zinc Oxide, it even cleared my skin of spots too (I noticed a difference after just three days of using it). Miraculous given that my 25-year-old skin looked like that of a particularly unfortunate adolescent. For evening I still prefer to use a liquid foundation for a little more coverage by for daytime, I am an Invisible Zinc convert and can’t wait to see what else the brand has to offer. Will keep you posted.

Invisible Zinc products are available to buy at

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Wrap Your Nails

The trend for nail art is only going to get bigger. WAH nails ( is tending to thousands of fashionable fingertips and nail wraps, originally championed by the metallic digits of Rhianna and Katy Perry (, are now all the rage with us normal-uns too. I bought some DIY smurf-blue wraps from Sephora ( when I was in Poland but had very little success (not aided by the fact that they didn’t come with any instructions). The effect was akin to one I achieved when seven; when I decided to put stickers on my face, ears and nails. I gave it another chance with Nail Rock (you can buy packs from

Nail Rock wraps come in some seriously funky patterns (leopard print, lacy etc.) or the popular plain metallic. Apparently applying heat is key when it comes to their application (who knew?!) and one Sunday night in front of my favourite Come Dine With Me marathon, I gave it a go. I like the craft-aspect of these things, sitting and cutting each nail-shaped section to fit my teeny little nail beds. You have to buff your nails to make them stick properly and then apply the heat (a travel hairdryer is apparently ideal). This made them stick. Then I had to file away any edges that hung over. This didn’t work too well; I think you need to use a pretty hardcore nail file. The overall effect was pretty cool though and this would look great on a night out. Personally, though, I wasn’t too keen on the feeling of having something totally foreign bonded to my nails (needless to say I’m not a fan of acrylics or anything like that either). I found the wraps came loose very quickly but perhaps I didn’t apply them properly. I think I’d advise visiting a professional first so you can watch how they do it before attempting the same thing at home. Will try again soon and let you know how I get on.

In the meantime here’s a picture of the final result (it worked better on my toes than on my fingers).