Ghostwriter-Gate: Why I’m not surprised and wish someone had warned Zoella

I watch beauty videos and I like Zoella. I don’t intend to buy her book. But I’d like to say a few things on the subject.

1. The fact that Zoella (allegedly) used a ghostwriter doesn’t surprise me one bit.
Here’s why. As someone who sincerely tried to write and publish a debut young adult novel when I was Zoella’s age, I can tell you that’s it’s a tremendously huge and difficult undertaking. I entered an entirely unknown world. There are so many things to consider. What narrator do I use? Am I getting the voice of a teenager right? Do I make a detailed plan of my plot in advance or do I make it up as I go? Do I write at home or in a coffee shop (The latter in an attempt to imitate JK Rowling)? I could go on. My point is – if I was a YouTube vlogger sharing most of my day to day experiences with my viewers AND had had achieved the incredible feat of writing my first novel, I’d share a little bit more of the process. Not the process of getting the book deal, because hey, I am Zoella, but the writing. Wouldn’t you? By the way, I don’t like the argument she and her publisher seem to go for, that she understandably needed this level of help because it was her first novel. Did every established author need a ghostwriter for their debut? But that’s just a side note here.

2. The public outcry is as predictable as the fact that there was a ghostwriter in the first place. In other words: Why did no one warn Zoella? Maybe they did. It would be a major failure of her management Gleam digital if they didn’t tell her that this would happen. Yes, Zoe could have had the common sense to anticipate this herself, but isn’t this where older, more experienced people should have stepped in? Where was her normally very level-headed BFF Louise/Sprinkle of Glitter? Maybe someone did warn her, but the lure for success and excitement of having her name on a book was stronger. And success in book sales she got.

3.

The sales of this novel have absolutely nothing to do with the content of the book. They have everything to do with Zoella’s brand. She built that brand herself and is reaping the rewards as lots of celebrities do, via brand extensions.

Thank you Matt Haig (The Guardian), I couldn’t have said it better. What if Zoella had been upfront and said ‘I’ve teamed up with this awesome writer, I came up with the characters and plot and now she is going to write it’? What if the novel had both names on the cover? Would her fans still buy it? I believe so. Yes, she should have been upfront. But – If she offers an honest and heartfelt explanation or even apology now, will there be a twitter-trending outpouring of love from her fans? I guarantee it.

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Updated Skincare Routine

Hello lovely readers,

I thought it was about time I’d do an updated skincare routine, as I have discovered some wonderful new products over the past few months that have now become firm favourites. I have normal skin with very occasional small spots. Here’s the breakdown:

Morning

Skincare 2014 (1 von 2)

To cleanse : I mix 50/50 of a creamy, non-foaming cleanser (currently Boots Botanics All Bright Gentle Cleasing cream, but I switch it up) with Boots Botanics Radiant Youth Microdermabrasian Polish . I love the fine, sandy texture of this product, but it’s too harsh on it’s own. Depending on how much my skin needs exfoliation, I adjust the ratio.

To tone: Michael Todd True Organics Blue Green Algae toner. I love the smell of this, and it feels so refreshing. The ingredients are impressive, for once the base is aloe vera juice, not water, and it has hyaloronic acid in it. I like that it is meant to be antibacterial, but not drying in the slightest. I have become paranoid about rubbing bacteria onto my face when drying it after cleansing (who has a clean towel every single day?) – probably a silly idea, but using this toner afterwards sorts it out.

To moistuise: Murad Vitalic Energizing Pomegranate moisturizer. I bought this as part of a kit from TK Maxx. Would I pay the full price? Probably. I like the smell, the non-greasy but hydrating texture, and my skin seems to like it.

Evening

Skincare 2014 (2 von 2)

To remove makeup: For waterproof mascara, I use Clarins Instant eye-makeup remover. It does work well, but I am not sure I would repurchase it. I find the much cheaper Nspa Ultimate Cleansing tonic (sold at Asda) works just as effectively. For face makeup, I use the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. I love this, it seems so magical – an oil when you apply it on dry skin that turns into a milky liquid when you add water to rinse it off. Really leaves my skin feeling clean. I don’t like it so much for removing mascara, it seems to irritate my eyes ever so slightly.

To cleanse: The Pure Moisture plus miracle balm with a muslin cloth. I raved about it here.

For night-time moisturiser: Pai Rosehip oil. Apparently the only oil of its kind made out of the fruit rather than the seed, which means it contains more antioxidants. Amazing feel, smell, absorbs well and my skin loves it. I like the idea of not putting any chemicals/silicones or any of that stuff I don’t really know about on my skin  over night. It gets enough of that in the day!

I don’t bother with eye creams or serums – should I? Leave me a comment below!

For my favourite masks, see my recent post.

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Look of the Day: Daytime Smokey Eye

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smokey lotd (1 von 2)

 

I’ve never experimented much with smokey eyes because I find it difficult to make them work for my eyeshape. Lots of dark eyeshadow directly around my lashlines looks odd on me, I always go for darker colours in the crease. However, I’ve been admiring Lisa Eldridge other people’s smokey looks for a while now and I am determined to make this work for me. Here is a first attempt… I wanted it to work in the daytime, so skipped gel liner, etc.

Face:

– YSL Youth Liberator foundation in B30

– Maybelline Dream Lumi touch concealer in Ivory under the eyes

– Nars deep throat blush

– Nars Laguna bronzer in an attempt to contour my nose

– Nars light reflecting loose setting powder

Eyes:

– Rimmel Exaggerate eye-shadow primer

– Nars Fairy’s kiss eyeshadow palette (light lilac over the lid, matte grey in the outer corner/lower lashline/eyebrows, matte black in the centre of the outer corner, with plenty of blending in between)

– Urban Decay 24/7 eye pencil in Uzi (grey) along top lashline

– Gosh Volumateur waterproof mascara (new love)

– Rimmel Scandaleyes nude eyeliner in the waterline (I tried a dark grey first – looked aweful!)

Lips:

– Nothing, just Nuxe Reve de miel lipbalm

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Beauty goodies from the US!

A while ago my dear friend bellepetronelle and I agreed to do a box swap. She is currently in the US and I am in the UK. She asked me what I wanted – OMG. I went through the Sephora website and lots of American beauty guru’s recommendation and carefully made my picks – she got me everything I asked for. The parcel arrived on Christmas Day – how perfect. I’m so grateful. I’ve had a chance to try these out so I’ll let you know my thoughts.

us swap (3 von 6)

Milani Baked blush in Luminoso

 

Milani Baked blush in Luminoso – So worth the hype! Beautiful shimmery peach blush that is very pigmented and gives you a real glow. Will be using this loads in the summer I think.

us swap (4 von 6)

Anastasia clear brow gel

Anastasia clear brow gel – This does it exaclty what you expect, it makes my very unruly brows stay in place by making them rock solid. No white flaky bits. I asked for this when it was on half price offer – not sure if it is that much better than drugstore brow gels, but to be honest I haven’t tried many.

us swap (6 von 6)

Tarte Pure Delights Lipsurgence lip set

Tarte Pure delights Lipsurgence lip set – This is the star of the show. I love love love these. I haven’t even worn all of these yet as I am savouring them, but I have swatched them all. There are 4 matte ones which have great colour payoff and 4 shiny ones that are more like the typical crayon lipsticks. I love all the colours – Based on the packaging they all look quite similar and mainly light pink, but a couple of them actually are a lot darker than their packaging. They have a minty scent to them that reminds me of the Revlon Just bitten kissable balm stains, no doubt due to the peppermint oil in the ingredients.

Is it worth paying a bit more for them compared to drugstore alternatives? Yes, if you care about the ingredients. Tarte uses a lots of natural ingredients and no mineral oil or parabens. Among the original formula I spotted goodies such a Jojoba oil.

I feel very lucky to have such a generous friend!

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November 2013 Beauty Favourites

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Somehow I felt like making videos again. Have a look to see my favourites for last month – featuring YSL Youth liberator foundation and the Nars Guy Bourdin One night stand palette.

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Beauty review: A great affordable cleansing balm!

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Cleansing balms seem to be the skincare trend of the year. I’m über loyal to my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, so I haven’t been swayed to try anything new. Until recently. The cult balms (Emma Hardie, Eve Lom, need I say more?) are pretty much all high end and I just can’t bring myself to spend 30 pounds plus on a cleanser. Luckily. Marks and Spencer once again saved the day with their Pure moisture plus miracle balm (£9.50). Pure is one of their in-house brands that offers affordable natural cosmetics. A lot of their body care smells of rose – I love the Moisture plus body cream.

The miracle balm is basically a mix of natural oils such as Argan, shea and sweet almond. Consequently it has a fairly strong scent, but I love it. It is fairly solid but melts between your hands and on your face. I massage this onto my dry face and then take it off with a hot muslin cloth. It leaves my skin feeling clean, soft and nourished. It is definitely a richer product than the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, so I think it is perfect for winter. My skin is normal to combination, not particularly oily but blemish prone.

Have you tried a cleansing balm? Let me know your views.

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Beauty review: AHA and clay face masks

face masks

I am a massive fan of face masks. Maybe because they give you an instant result, rather than the “better skin in 2 weeks”, gradual thing you get from a lot of skincare products. I try to restrain myself and use them no more than once or twice a week. It is the ideal thing for me to feel like I am looking after myself.

This post is about the two types of face masks that I regularly use – exfoliating/radiance masks and clarifying/detoxing masks. I don’t really use moisturizing masks, mainly because I rarely feel like that is my primary skin concern.

Exfoliating/radiance/AHA/fruit acids family

Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal mask (50ml – £30)

This is probably my favourite mask of all times, mainly because it makes such a dramatic, immediate difference to my skin. Various fruit acids eat away your dead skin cells and leave your skin smooth and noticeably more radiant. It isn’t the most pleasant mask to apply as it is very sticky, but so worth it. I’ve done a first impression video on this, so you can watch me apply the mask here. It’s arguably very expensive, but you only need a thin layer so it lasts a long time. I bought my first bottle online from Marks and Spencer during one of their 20% off all beauty promotions (Amazing – they stock Ren, Nuxe, Murad, etc) and the second at Heathrow airport Duty free (£25).

Murad Pomegranate Exfoliating mask (6 x 7.5ml – £22.50)

Two of these came in a Pore Refining starter set I picked up at TK Maxx for 12 Euros. Such a bargain! This mask does similar things to the Ren one, but feels more cooling and tingling. I think it is similarly powerful at exfoliating, but the Ren mask might have the upper hand in terms of radiance. The packaging in individual sachets is a serious downside – 7.5ml is a ridiculously large amount for a single sachet. You can get at least two uses out of this.

Superdrug Radiance Renewal Brightening Renewal mask (75ml – £4.99)

Here’s your drugstore alternative of a fruit acid mask. Less powerful, but still gives you smoother skin. It feels cooling and slightly tingling,. Superdrug often sells this range for 1/3 to 1/2 off the already very reasonable price. A good way to dip your toe into the fruit acid business or maybe if the big guns above are too harsh for your skin.

Clarifying/detox/clay based family

Origins Clear Improvement mask (50ml – £10)

A clay based mask that has an amazing deep colour and feels very smooth when you apply it. It dries to a typical tight fit on the skin. My skin feels very clean and smooth afterwards. Probably the most powerful out of the three. I bought it from the Origins website with free delivery and got to choose two free samples.

Boots Botanics Shine away Ionic Clay mask (100ml – £4.99)

This contains only three ingredients on top of clay and water – one of them willow bark extract, according to the label a natural source of salicylic acid. I’m assuming it’s the lack of smoothing/silicone ingredients that means this really feels like putting fine grained mud on your face. It dries completely on the face. This is the only one of the three where your can see little dots once it’s dry where the oils of have been drawn out of your skin … if that sounds satisfying to you, give it a try.

Sanctuary 5 Minute Thermal Detox mask (100ml – £10.50)

This mask has the lovely effect of warming up and cooling down as soon as you apply it to the skin. It has a slightly gooey texture and does not dry down in the typical clay mask fashion. As you only leave it for 5 minutes, I think it has a much milder effect than the other masks. Still good for a spontaneous pick-me up if you feel your skin is congested but don’t have time for a full face mask. I tend to apply this before I get in the shower and wash it off in the end – hardly an extra time investment.

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