The Blogosphere Christmas Festival

Last weekend I hot-footed it to the big-smoke to my very first blogger event, the Blogosphere Christmas Festival.

For those of you unfamiliar with the blogging community, Blogosphere magazine is a quarterly independent publication, featuring bloggers and influencers of all sizes. It also covers advice and tips for bloggers, as well as interviewing inspirational influencers.

The event, held in Shoreditch, promised panels from your favourite bloggers as well as a brand presence and the opportunity to pick up some additional Christmas shopping!

As soon as I arrived I was welcomed by Alice, the editor of Blogosphere magazine, who made sure I had a drink in my hand and after a little chat I had look around.

The first talk was due to start within the next 10 minutes so I took the opportunity to grab a seat and settle in.

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The first panel ‘Sharing Your Personal Style with the World’ featured 4 fabulous bloggers, including Siobhan (@justauniform) who I’ve chatted to over the past year or so and I was excited to finally meet. Also speaking, Steph Yeboah, Jamie Windust and Paige Calvert, a very inspiring bunch to listen to. The confidence these people have is wonderful!

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After this panel, and a cheeky picture with Siobhan and Steph, I had a look around the stands and spoke with some of the brands.

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Deliciously Ella’s brand provided the food

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Then there was a table of lovely Kusmi teas – I tried a Christmas blend which was lovely and refreshing.

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So..? were there promoting their latest fragrance range, including some new Eau de Parfum – gorgeous and inexpensive gift sets too!

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OGX were also there giving out free samples of their shampoo and conditioners.

I’m not the most comfortable in social situations but I met a few lovely bloggers who were kind enough to chat to me, though no doubt I was super-awkward!

And then it was time for the next panel!

This time ‘Finding your Authentic Voice Online’ featuring Vix Meldrew, Brogan Tate, Jess Ayton and Tom Cox.

I was most interested in seeing Brogan speak as I follow her YouTube channel, but it was great to hear Vix and Tom speak about their experiences with staying authentic in what can be a cut-throat environment when you’re a full-time influencer.

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At this point in the day I needed to leave to get to my next appointment, so I grabbed Alice and thanked her for a lovely event.

It wasn’t nearly as scary as I’d thought it could have been. Everyone was so friendly, and I didn’t feel out of place.

Back home I was able to have a look through the goodie bag.

Here’s what So…?’s bag contained.

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I’m looking forward to giving these a go.

The Blogosphere bag contained this lovely lot:

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And, I am most excited about trying these Booja Booja truffles which were also in the goodie bag. For the longest time I’ve loved their chocolates, and didn’t even know they were dairy free until recently, when it became relevant to me!

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Thanks to Blogosphere Magazine for throwing a fabulous and inspiring shindig. I’ll definitely be at the next one!

My Mini Fashionista!

A few weeks back, when the Summer had decided to make a last ditch attempt at actual sunshine and warmth, my Niece Niamh expressed a wish to show me some of the outfits she’d recently bought.

A budding Influence and Fashionista, she was excited when I told her I’d love to create a look-book type post, based on the items she’d picked, since they were very on-fashion.

With a keen eye for trends, I’m sure this isn’t the only time she’ll be featuring on this blog – and as you will see, she’s a natural in front of the camera!

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Cold-shoulder top from Primark, necklace from Claire’s Accessories.

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Her favourite necklace, from Claire’s Accessories. Niamh loves unicorns and wears this necklace every day when she can.

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Shorts from Asda, Top from Primark. Niamh loves the look of the cold-shoulder tops that are in the shops at the moment. Along with the addition of embroidery, another of this year’s hot trends, this top is perfect!

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Then for evening, parties, general social events (these kids have better social lives than me!) she’d picked this dress at Primark. It’s got mesh detailing at the top with beautiful lace at the top. So pretty and feminine!

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A girl after my own heart, these headphones (also Primark) are covered with turquoise rhinestones and had me totally mesmerised whilst they glistened in the sun! I’m such a magpie!

As you can see, my Niece has an eye for fashion and style. In a few years I’m going to be taking tips from her! Thanks for modelling for me Niamh!

Updated!: To Fake Up or Not to Fake Up?

So I promised a second beauty blog, and here it is! This is my comparison between Benefit’s FakeUp and YSL’s Touche Eclat.

This month Benefit launched their new FakeUp concealer as part of their Spring’13 range. What they say:

This hydrating crease-control concealer – with Vitamin E & apple seed extract – hides dark circles & diffuses fine lines for a silky smooth, ultra-natural look.

A Touche Eclat user for the past 13 years or so, I was a lot younger when I started using it and I’ve since noticed that the concealer sits in the fine lines I now have under my eyes. It makes me look tired and haggard just minutes after I’ve put it on. Now I will say I never wear foundation or powder, I only wear concealer, so the coverage I get is very light. I have the world’s darkest circles under my eyes but my skin is fine and likes the breathe, thank you very much.

So I trotted off to the Benefit counter. I was matched to the Light shade (surprise surprise) There’s only 3 shades (Light, Medium and Deep). The price is £18.50 which might seem steep but when Touche Eclat is £23 a pop, it’s actually a potential saving!

So here goes:

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The packaging is pretty, and would be easy to pop into a makeup back or handbag. It looks a little like those lipsticks you can get and has the hydrating balm around the edges and the concealer in the centre.

I started off with the FakeUp and just put it onto one eye so you could see what I look like without and with (it’s a bit scary, so be warned….)

FakeUp on left and nothing on right (sexy 'eh?)
FakeUp on left and nothing on right (sexy ‘eh?)

It’s obvious which has the make up on 😀 It was fairly easy to apply, though I think I have to get used to blending it because it still feels a little slippy due to the amount of balm. I found myself dabbing my finger into the centre of the stick to get more concealer than balm. I applied it straight from the stick onto my face and then smooshed it (official term) with my finger.

Next I applied Touche Eclat to the other eye. This is easy to apply. Just click the end and paint it on with the brush. Then pat with the middle finger to blend it in.

Touche Eclat on right eye (my left) FakeUp on left (my right)
Touche Eclat on right eye (my left) FakeUp on left (my right)

You can see there’s not a huge amount of difference. Though if you look closely you can see lines on the right side and it looks a tad dryer. The left side looks hydrated and plump. I took this photo with a window right in front of me and even light on both sides.

The final test I did was the face rub. I love to rub my face but with Touche Eclat I find that so much makeup comes off. So I gave both sides a good old scrub.

Top finger Touche Eclat, bottom finger FakeUp
Top finger Touche Eclat, bottom finger FakeUp

As you can see, make up came off from both products – which was expected. But can you see how shiny the bottom finger is? This is from the FakeUp balm. I’m not sure I like how shiny it comes off. Other bloggers have said that it sets to a satin finish but I’m not sure how satin I want my face to be! Anyway, it was obvious that I’d rubbed both eyes, so I might avoid doing that!

I removed both products using a Nivea face wipe. Touching my face afterwards, the eye that the FakeUp was on felt hydrated a smooth and more plump. The Touche Eclat eye felt smooth but dry. The Benefit FakeUp definitely seemed to treat my skin.

So what’s the verdict? I think I need to use the FakeUp a bit more to get used to applying it, because I’m a bit of a make-up dunce. But I’m pleased with the overall effect. I just worry it might make me look a little greasy in the summer. It’s cheaper than Touche Eclat and definitely hydrating.

Have you used this product yet? I’d love to hear what you think!

 

01/05/13: Update! So, I’ve worn FakeUp a few times over the last few weeks and the verdict is – YSL is better! The FakeUp coverage is far too sheer for my deep dark circles and I actually found it creased worse than Touche Eclat. So I’m sticking to good old faithful!
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