Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Haute Body: Jenny Craig How it Works...

I apologize for the intense LENGTH of this video, but I really wanted to talk you through the Jenny Craig Diet and the parts of it which aren't just the food you get. Many people I talk to just say, 'Oh Jenny Craig... isn't that just the one where they send you diet food to eat' but it's so much deeper than that as you can tell through the video. It's basically a case of teaching it's followers what kind of eater they are, why they've been putting on weight they didn't want and how to loose that weight whilst also enjoying the foods you love too! 

So you know I was kindly gifted four weeks of Jenny Craig food although all of my coverage for them was done of my own accord and with my own genuine opinions and I haven't received any money in exchange for my coverage.

Hope you enjoyed the video and head over to the Jenny Craig website as they're currently running a half price offer on their two week plan which is definitely worth checking out! Here is the link:

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Please rate, like, follow, comment and subscribe and I promise there will be loads of beauty, fashion, lifestyle, culture and gossip material going up on here each week :)

Thanks for watching, guys and I'll see you soon!

gabriellasofia x

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

HauteFuture Needs You!

Hey guys!

So I'm writing this post because if you've been reading recently then you'll see that I've recently had to decide to take a big long blog-break which is really sad for me :( If you didn't know, please check out this post: Anyways, it is for this reason that I have decided to accept guests posts during my break. What I hope to gain by doing this is: 

1) To make sure my poor blog doesn't look barren and unloved
2) To give some of my fellow bloggers access to my followers
3) To get bloggers who like my page (and their followers) to be more interactive with me

Basically there are only a few 'requirements' of guesting on my page. Firstly, I try and make HauteFuture seem as professional as physically possible. This means using only original photos (none 'borrowed' from other websites and blogs unless approved and accredited), I like photos in virtually every post as they catch people's eye on the News Feed and I like the photos to be quite clear although they obviously don't need to look like a photography expert took them haha. The quality of the writing style and language used means a lot to me on my page. I literally do not tolerate swearing practically at all. Sometimes I'll put a naughty word with asterixes in the middle eg. 's**t'. However, I try not to use these words hardly ever, and when I do they're in a kind of flippant or off-hand way as a joke rather than aggressively. Ideally I'd prefer for my guests to avoid these words completely if at all possible. As for the quality and style of the piece, check out my page: to see the sort of 'standard' I work at. Obviously, there are always a couple of rascally typos that slip through the net, but generally I tend to draft then proof-read my posts to make sure that they read as well as they can. This means not using sentences that are too long, words that are too long/in the wrong context, punctuation errors etc. I will obviously proof-read and perhaps slightly edit if necessary the pieces you send to me but I will send you any editions that I make to confirm that you feel like you're still being truly represented. I will hopefully not have to make too many changes though, as explained in my WE ARE ON A BREAK post, I don't have a lot of spare time at the moment!

Now enough of the 'rules' haha, I want this to be fun! So what am I looking for? What do I hope to achieve by having guests on my blog? Well, I've noticed that a lot of people run 'interview' posts while others just allow the guests to write whatever they want. I don't want my guest posts to be cliche and I also want them to have some kind of structure. So I was brain-storming a bit and then I though YES that's the point... Bloggers have brains. I'm so sick of the stereotypes that bloggers are just dumb bimbos who don't care about anything bar mascara, mini-skirts and macaroons (because cupcakes are sooooo out!) A couple of times I've had hater comments telling me how 'shallow', 'unintelligent' and 'spoilt' we are, and how if we only opened our beautifully made-up eyes for two seconds we'd see a world of pain around us blablabla. So I want to do something to prove that bloggers have brains AND hearts, by giving them a platform to express their social conscience. Sound complicated? Well, it's really not... let me explain how we can translate beauty, fashion and lifestyle to things that 'matter'. 

Here are some examples of posts which I'd like to see... if you can think of other ideas then I really welcome them! The more the merrier...

- Human hair extentions
- Animal testing
- Animal hair in make-up brushes
- Tanning 
- Children being beautified eg. Toddlers and Tiaras/salons for kiddies

- Fad diets
- Supplements/diet pills 
- Body image

- Sweat shops
- Real fur versus faux fur

- Non-mainstream interests (in music, film, books)
- Self-improvement
- Making money go further in the recession
- Bisexuality
- Home-made gifts versus shop-bought

Like I say, these are just some ideas and anyone is welcome to run with them! I want the blogger to be passionate about the piece she chooses and I want her to know her topic inside out. What I mean here is, if you've never used hair extensions before then don't write about the humans versus synthetic hair topic. Similarly, although I wouldn't want the gory details of a bisexual experience you've indulged in (although more power to you sister!), if you've never considered your sexuality in depth then please don't write about bisexuality.

I don't want these pieces to be telling people, 'Don't do that' or 'Do do this'. I want them to look like a sensible argument which takes into consideration both sides of the story, but ends with your personal opinion. I'd like the pieces to be quite short (less than 500 words) so you don't have A LOT of space to work with, but as intelligent young women I'm sure you'll be able to put across your points eloquently :) I don't mind the pieces being 'controversial' perhaps one of you out there believes that animal testing has numerous benefits. However, I don't want any of the pieces to discriminate or be prejudiced towards anyone... For example, if you choose to run with with 'home-made versus shop-bought' gift idea, please don't say something like, 'Shop bought gifts are thoughtless and impersonal and anyone that does this has not imagination.' Instead, say 'Home-made gifts are thoughtful, more personal and show that your imaginative and creative side.'

I know these points are kind of obvious to everyone out there, but I thought I should say them as I know that some bloggers out there have a different tack with things like this than I do. I don't want my page to be biased (even if I don't agree with your stance but you've argued your point well, I'll feature it!) and I don't want my readers to think that I'm handing my blog over to a bunch of guests who have no idea what HauteFuture is all about. 

In terms of photos, it's pretty easy really. If you want to write about animal testing put a picture of you and your pet, and you wearing a face full of make-up (whether from anti or pro animal testing brands depending on your stance). If you are posting about faux versus real fur, post a picture with your wearing your fave fur coat. If you're posting about body image, perhaps draw a picture of a 'perfect' body, or if you're feeling really brave, post a bikini picture of your own (class is important though!)

Finally, I would like any guests to my blog to do a mini post on their own site saying something like 'Check out my fab guest post over at HauteFuture' with a link to my blog, and also to tweet and post on Facebook (if you have a Facebook page for your blog) about it too, all complete with links. In return for this, I will of course link your blog and write a sentence or two about why I love it at the beginning or end of your post. 

So where do we go from here? I would like to schedule one guest post per week, so I'd like you all to email me to show that you're interested with a few little details...

1) Your name
2) Your Twitter
3) Your blog Facebook (if you have one)
4) Your blog link
5) Your top two favorite topics to write about from the list or from your own imagination :) 
6) A deadline for when you think you can have the piece written by

My email address is:

Once again thank you for all of the support I've had recently from everyone out there. I know this post has been an absolute essay, but things are really hard since I've decided to take my break and kind of 'handing over the mic' on my page is a big deal and I'd like to make sure that my faithful followers are seeing guest posts which are true to the image which I've given HauteFuture. I hope that makes sense! Thank you so much for agreeing to help me, it means so much!

Hope to hear from your all soon...

ps. Even if you've NEVER blogger before, I still want to hear from you!

Thursday, 16 February 2012


Hey guys :)

So, this is a post that I never really wanted to write but kind of knew it was coming although didn't expect it really until my uni study leave, but basically I'm taking a break from my blog until I've finished uni in June. Thought I'd tell it to you straight as quickly and painlessly as possible because this is really hard for me and I really didn't want to have to do this. I figured it's like ripping off a band-aid, so blurted it out just like that.

I know it is a pretty huge blog break to take, like, most people take a week or two off and I'm planning on having about four months off. But I really think it's probably the best decision for me right now.

Why am I doing it? Well, essentially, I'm doing it because I love it too much. I'm in my final year at university, and due to a terrible module choice I made last year, I spent most of my second year and this first three quarters of this third and final year struggling to reach the standards I know I'm capable of. Once I started struggling, I realized that I didn't really think what I was struggling for was really worth it; I stopped enjoying my degree and started putting my energy into something I love doing, blogging. If you know me, then you know I would blog all day every day for free. I've dreamed so many times about just dropping out of uni and becoming a professional blogger for a living, but we all know that its not as simple as that. Someone has to pay the bills, boost their job prospects and most importantly, bring home a diploma at the end of the three years so their parents can be proud. So I stuck at it, despite my wishes getting stronger and stronger over the past few months.

Finding myself now in the 'final push' of my university career, my logical mind reasons that it simply wouldn't make sense to drop out now. Sure, I have the dissertation left to hand in, the exams to sit, and the results day to attend, three of the hardest things any student has to 'look forward to' particularly if they aren't even remotely passionate about what they're doing, or can think of much better ways to spend their time. However, it is only a few months left so I know it just wouldn't be worth quitting now, especially not just because I'm scared that I might only get an 'average' degree rather than 'above average'.

If I do average on results day, sure I'll find it a bit of a bummer, but I'll be proud of myself because I stuck at it. But I need to stick at it in order to achieve that sense of pride, and the people around me seem to think I won't get that if I keep up my blog at the same time and I get that. I get that because every minute I want to blog. Once a week I want to pick up a uni book. Maximum. So this is all about eliminating my main distraction.

Now, it's bad enough having to sacrifice something you love in place of the possibility of gaining something else. It's even worse when you're making that sacrifice for something you're kind of indifferent about but want for the people around you.

That's the most important thing for you guys to know, I'm not giving up my blog for myself or to push myself forward. I'm giving it up for the people around me, who I can't bear to disappoint. At least not if I knew I could help it.

As I say, I don't know if dropping my blog will mean the difference between a 2.1 and 2. But at least I'll know I did my absolute best and couldn't have done any more.

It's kind of ironic that I should have to make this decision just as things are going so well for my little blog. Companies and events are starting to recognize me, fellow bloggers are working with me and I'm beginning to feel right in my element having just run and awarded my '150 follower giveaway'. I can only hope that all of my followers will still be here when I return, waiting for me with as much support as ever they did. And you know what, if not, I'd earn you all right back again in June, because I've loved every minute of it :D

Literally have a little tear in my eye right now, because I'm under a lot of pressure at the moment, but I'm pretty sure that this is the right thing to do. I know you all probably think I'm making a huge ceremony of this but it really is a big deal for me right now as I know I'm sentencing myself to at least four months of pure misery. But nonetheless, in the words of Christina Aguilera (YES I went there) 'They say if you love something let it go, If it comes back, It's yours, And that's how you know.'

So for the foreseeable future, my blog and I are on a break, and until such a time when I think it's a good idea to pick it back up again, you may only see the odd guest post on here (if that). However, I will still be available on Twitter as @HauteFuture and you can still email me at

Thank you for reading and for keeping the smile on my face for the past year and a half. It's meant an awful lot and all I ask now is that you close your eyes, make a wish, count to three and say a little prayer for me. Hopefully I can come back in June and tell you all that this was so worth it. But until next time, this is me, signing off :'(


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

150 Follower Giveaway Winner is...

So I'm sure you've all been waiting on tenterhooks to see if you'll win my giveaway... NOT haha. However, I really wanted to run this giveaway so that I could pay all of my followers and subscribers back for all of the help and support you've offered me. Starting and running a blog takes up a lot of my time and my energy and yet every minute is worth it when I read a comment, or see a retweet, or gain a new follower or subscriber. Really it is :) So watch the video to find out who has won my selection of goodies plus some random surprises also. Thanks for everything

Please check out my other sites and let me know what you think in the comments box below:

Please follow me on Twitter at:

Click 'Follow' on my blog which has tons of reviews, beauty-fashion-lifestyle features and more:

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Please rate, like, follow, comment and subscribe and I promise there will be loads of beauty, fashion, lifestyle, culture and gossip material going up on here each week :)

Thanks for watching, guys and I'll see you soon!

gabriellasofia x

Monday, 13 February 2012

Haute Body: Jenny Craig First Week Weigh-In...

Hey guys! Hope you enjoyed my first Jenny Craig post which can be read here with a full video haul of all of the diet food goodies I was so kindly sent by the fit people on the Jenny Craig PR team. Before I speak any more about the diet, I must say that I have accepted free food from the company. However, I am not posting in order to repay them for the food and I will always give a balanced and honest review of anything I am sent, whether paid for or gifted.

Now, enough of that boring stuff! Here is a bit of Jenny Craig 'Food Porn' (as I like to call photographs of delicious looking food which makes your mouth water...) just so you can see what some of the meals look like.

This is a bowl of yummy raisin and hazelnut muesli. I put half a cup of semi-skimmed milk in and a handful of grapes cut in half. Nom.

These are three of the delicious lunches which I've been sent. A Mediterranean tuna-pasta salad, carrot and coriander soup with a bit too much half fat cheddar cheese (sorry Jenny!) and a couple of crackers and finally, a mashed potato pot complete with rosemary and croutons... plus a random carrot on the side haha. I'm kind of addicted to these mash pots.

Now here we have three mouth-watering dinners. First up, we have a chicken curry with rice, creamy mushroom stroganoff with some added chicken and a naughty splodge of ketchup on the side, and finally my favorite, a dish of chicken chasseur with some gherkins. You can tell I like mixing random foods together. Nomnomnom.

Also, can I just say I know these dinner photos are very chicken-heavy but I promise that's just a coincidence. I've also had beef and lamb dindins so far also, just forgot to photograph them!

So, the question everyone wants the answer to... Does the Jenny Craig diet work? My answer? YES. I've been on it for just a week and have cheated a little bit here and there and I've managed to lose a pound. Now, I know that's not a huge weight loss. However, the Jenny Craig diet is not supposed to be a quick fix diet where stones drop off you in seconds only to be packed right back on (and then some) the day you come back off it. Jenny Craig is about making healthy lifestyle choices and most importantly LEARNING about the way food works and how it affects your body. This means that the weight will come off in healthy, gradual amounts and when you begin to phase yourself back into regular eating (if you even want to after feasting on such yummy dishes...) you will be educated enough to know how to keep that weight off. This is why I love the Jenny Craig diet.

Now, let me tell you something exciting. A bit of an 'insider tip'... Starting tomorrow, Jenny Craig are offering two weeks of their diet at half price which averages out at just £5.50 per day for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks every day. So for those of you who want to try out the diet which allows you to get diet food delivered to your door for a similar price to that which most people spend on their usual weekly shop which doesn't include supportive consultants calling one to two times a week, a folder telling you everything you need to know about food and how to work with it and a community of people in the same position as you are. So what are you waiting for? Now is the time to sign up for Jenny Craig!

So what do you reckon, fab discount right? What are your reasons for considering the Jenny Craig diet? What are your current eating habits?


My TOWIB OOTD Featured on the ASOS Website!

So it looks like all of my agonizing over my outfit for the TOWIB event this weekend paid off as my Outfit of the Day has actually been featured on the ASOS website! They have this section which I'd never seen before called Fashion Finder and a few of the lovely ladies from the team were present at TOWIB. At the end of the event they got a few snaps of me and some of the other lovely ladies I met during the day in a 'Street-Style'-inspired improvised-on-the-spot (by us 'models' I mean as we had no idea we were going to be shot...) photo sesh. The images have since gone onto the ASOS website, complete with a list of similar items to those which I have on in this photograph which can be purchased from ASOS. Fab!

Street Style added by fashionfinder

So what did I wear?
1) The Beatles T-shirt from H&M tied at the waist in a center knot - a similar one can be found on the ASOS site.
2) Black pashmina from Mom's Wardrobe :) - ASOS have one similar for a tenner, score!
3) A sheer waterfall-shaped midi-skirt with a small animal print pattern from Topshop - ASOS have one for £22.50
4) A standard pair of black tights - ASOS definitely have a variety of these in different finishes for a range of prices
5) Little black booties with tassles from... Mom's Wardrobe again lol. I love nicking her things, but they were originally from Topshop - Again, just hit up ASOS for a similar pair which will hopefully be more comfy than the ones I wore...

So there you have it. To shop this look on just click here and keep an eye on their Fashion Finder resource because if you're as nosy as I am then you'll love seeing what others are wearing and how to tweak their looks to suit your own style :)

Have you ever been featured in a street-style type piece? What do you reckon to ASOS's Fashion Finder? What do you think of my outfit? I also wore my black cropped leather jacket and my black cape also to keep out the cold... 


Event Review: TOWIB Part 2...

This is part two of my TOWIB Event Review... For part one click here. Please understand that everything I've posted in this review is my own personal opinion and there is no malice intended. I have the utmost respect for the organizers and I generally had a great day. However, there were elements which I didn't enjoy as much as I could have done so to give a balanced review I am going to be honest. This is just the way I saw the event, and I'm sure many out there saw it very differently and that's obviously fab! Just wanted to give that little disclaimer so as not to become a big part of the big Twitter debate where some people have been ungrateful, disrespectful and classless.

ANYWAY! What happened after the PR session?


We had a break for a little while as everyone 'digested' (aka. gossiped about) the information which we'd learned as there was a fresh batch of teas, coffees and water available as refreshment. This was the stage when no-one could help realizing that there was two very handsome men stood at the front of the room. Amidst whispers and swoons, Hayley made it clear that we were about to have an eBuzzing experience involving these Sex Gods. Unfortunately, this experience was nowhere near as arousing as it sounded. The lady who was supposed to be conducting the first half of the presentation was absent meaning that a hunk with a Kiwi/Australian (I'M NOT AN ACCENT EXPERT OK???) had to literally wing it. It was apparent that Hayley wasn't impressed with his presentation as about fifteen minutes in she actually stood up and gave him advice on where he should have started his speech. This was slightly awkward and despite the fact that the dulcet monotones of him and his sexy colleague were sending most of us to sleep, I still felt kind of sorry for him. After being called out in a room full of women who essentially just wanted the simple facts, this poor guy had to continue with his colleague for another forty-five minutes, and by the end of the hour I sadly felt that although the concept which he was discussing (making between £80 and £130 per blog-post HELLO!!!) was obviously very attractive at first glance for most bloggers, at least two thirds of the room clearly decided the event wasn't worth hanging around for as they made a rather sharp exit once the session was over (with a handful even leaving during the presentation which, whilst being widely considered rude, was understandable.)  I will be doing a post about eBuzzing in a couple of days with some of the key points which the handsome men went through, although I promise I'll try to make it less sleep-inducing and cringeworthy than the whole interrupted palaver was yesterday.

This was the time of the day that we'd all been waiting for... Tea and scones. Although most people had already drank a waterfall of tea, since it was what we'd paid for people virtually climbed over each other in order to grab another cup. As before I opted for water as I don't drink hot drinks and no alternative was on offer, and I also helped myself to a scone with jam and clotted cream (do you pronounce it scown or skon? One of the most thought-provoking questions of the event...) a meringue nest with whipped cream and raspberries and a cupcake with what seemed to be coconut on top. Now, this has been a bit of a taboo subject from the event. Many people have (fairly) argued that considering the event began at 12pm and finished at 6pm, there perhaps should have been food on offer if only a selection of little sandwiches and crisps. Others have argued that the tickets were only £5 and considering the amount of benefits we've 'reaped' from the event we could hardly expect there to be a gourmet three-course dinner on offer. At risk of sitting on the fence (which I usually hate) I agree with both. Our £5 got us six hours of blogger-chat in a four-star central London hotel. However, I would rather have spent £15 and had lunch, because six hours is really too long (especially when the event falls across lunch-time) not to have anything more than some tiny scones. Having said that, the scones were delicious but there didn't seem to be enough. This meant that many who were not scared away from TOWIB by the sexy men, were about to collapse from hunger so they left to eat.

After the scones-session, Vikki asked if we could leave, but despite the fact that I have absolutely no interest in wigs whatsoever, I begged her to stomach the hour-long session with Annabelle's Wigs as I was really eager to see one of my favorite bloggers A Model Recommends in the Q&A bloggers panel session at the end. I will post about Annabelle's Wigs at a later date, although I must admit that this session was in no way useful to me (or most bloggers) at all. The founder of the company conducted this presentation, if you could call it that, but again her voice didn't carry very far and as much as I hate to say it, the presentation was not very polished. This meant that she struggled to command much of the audiences attention and I did feel kind of bad for her. 

Nonetheless, we endured the wig session, took it with a pinch of salt and eventually managed to have a bit of a laugh with it. Can't say I wasn't happy when that session was over though. Now for my big disappointment for the day. Although I absolutely love Get Lippie who sold me her ticket last week, I was kind of gutted when the organizer of TOWIB, Hayley from London Beauty Queen explained with a couple of throwaway comments that A Model Recommends actually was unable to attend and I worked out that Get Lippie was perhaps her replacement. Now this is something which I'm absolutely not positive of, but I do know that Get Lippie was roped in at last minute about a week ago as she originally had bought her own ticket before being invited onto the panel and no longer needing said ticket sold it to me. If I am right in thinking that she was A Model Recommends' replacement, then this tells me that Hayley may have been aware a while ago that my blog idol wasn't going to be able to make it. Had I known she wasn't coming, I may not even have purchased my ticket to begin with, or at the very least might have left with everyone else for lunch! 

AND YET despite my irritation that this might have been the case, I am glad in the end that I stayed as the Q&A blogger session actually was very informative as introduced me to the fabulous King's Road Rocks! blog and allowed me to experience some of Get Lippie's amazing personality. Not to mention that by this point, about 75% of attendees had left leaving a more intimate atmosphere. 

Then that was it! Hayley the organizer bragged a couple of times that she had to dash as she was going to an Ollie Murs concert and checking the time I decided it was definitely Nandos o'clock so Vik and I headed off after signing the guest book and having our photos taken by ASOS (all very glam!).

So my overall opinion of TOWIB was that it was a good value for money event where I met a lot of awesome girls and learnt a couple of tips. If I had organized it, I would charge more, serve food and have a bigger room. I would also make sure that each of the sessions was relevant and of interest to the majority of guests, would corroborate the presentations of each of the sessions as there were a couple of contradictions throughout the event (eg. when one of the PR ladies was saying she dislikes seeing that bloggers have been paid for posts... when our next session was with eBuzzing; a company that specializes in paying bloggers for posts... awkward...) Finally, I'd finalize the itinerary before tickets went on sale and make everyone aware of any changes to the itinerary as and when they happen just to avoid disappointment and let bloggers know exactly what it is that they are paying for.

To conclude, Hayley put on a fab TOWIB for my first time. I will attend again if I find the sessions relevant and the price reasonable (going to London from Stoke is a trek if I'm not even interested in what will be discussed). Although there were some statements which were made which I found offensive and unprofessional, I'm not sure exactly what people expected from a lady who is only charging each person £5, works a full time job on top of blogging and is putting on an event for over 100 strangers. Hayley, I salute you.

So thanks TOWIB for a great day :) And thanks to all the beautiful bloggers that I met at the event! 

Do you call it a skon or scown? Did you attend TOWIB? How do you feel about events like this?

Let me know :) 


Sunday, 12 February 2012

Event Review: TOWIB Part 1...

Hey guys! Hope you're all waiting with bated breath for my next Jenny Craig and IMATS posts which I'm planning on giving as much detail as possible on... Unfortunately that means multiple posts and much time spent on the posts so please bear with me. HOWEVER, today I have the first of a few different TOWIB posts which I'm planning and this is quite simply an event review. Whilst I was slightly reluctant to post this due to all of the controversy on Twitter regarding some rude, unfair and classless TOWIB reviews, I feel I owe it to my readers as much to myself to be as honest as I can, whilst maintaining respect for everyone involved in the organisation of this event.

So now I've given that little disclaimer, let's get started!

You may have seen my post a week or so ago begging for anyone with a spare TOWIB ticket to get in touch. Thankfully, Get Lippie was able to sell me hers as she'd been invited onto the Q&A panel since buying her own ticket. The organizer of TOWIB Hayley from London Beauty Queen gave me the tip that there may be a spare ticket over there as I'd emailed her to ask if I could be on a waiting list and this was fab of her.

I got up at 7am and left the house at 7.20am to be on the 8.20am train from Stafford into London Euston in time to meet my pal Victoria's Vintage at 10.50am. I did my entire make-up on the train, had my hair in a sleek donut-ring bun and I wore my The Beatles t-shirt from H&M, my sheer tan-and-black midi-skirt from Topshop, my Forever21 khaki booties, black tights, Delia's leather jacket, Dorothy Perkins black cape, black pashmina and appropriate ring, necklace and earrings combo. Phew. I was wearing a lot of clothes! 

I've heard mixed reviews about past TOWIB events feeling cliquey, and having felt rather uncomfortable when I walked into the VIP Bloggers area at IMATS last week for the same reason, I was a little nervous to look as perfect as possible so no-one could pick on me haha. So I used Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation, MAC Sin lipstick, DiorShow New Look mascara and a nude eyeshadow look from my Urban Decay Naked pallette amongst other things.

Anyway, enough about that! After navigating the London Underground and a variety of Tottenham Court Road's surrounding streets, when me and Vikki arrived at the beautiful little boutique hotel The Montague we collected our name stickers and headed to the toilets to check our make-up (standard Beauty Blogger Habit!) After waiting for about five minutes in line for the toilets (as only one was operational for however many guests TOWIB had) we entered the conference room where it became immediately obvious that the room was slightly cramped. There was tea, coffee and water available which was nice, but some complained that orange juice would have been a nice touch. The biscuits on offer were yummy though! 

Spotting my other blog pal Annabel from Yoyo and Bel was a lovely surprise as I wasn't sure if she had a ticket or not, so me, her and Vikki jogged to grab a seat about halfway down the room. Before we knew it, it was time for the events to begin.

Now, I'm not going to lie, I think I would have liked to see the itinerary for TOWIB before tickets went on sale. Whilst I did have a fab day, it was fab in a different way than I thought. I expected to learn an awful lot of insightful ways in which I could optimize the professionalism, content and (let's be honest for a minute...) blog traffic of my blog. Instead, I learnt a little bit about this, but networked with fellow bloggers throughout the day which for me was about a thousand times more worth-while than the things some of the speakers had to say.

This is a personal opinion, based on what I want to put into and get out of my blog. There are others who found every word to be dripping with valuable information, so please try not to take my review too seriously as blogging is a VERY personal thing which people do for their own reasons, hence they do not always agree with one another. For example, for those wishing to earn from their blog, I can imagine almost every session was immensely useful. However, I can't say this is true for me. 

The first session was perhaps one of my favorites, but it was not without its own obstacles. Bloggers were asked to mingle around the room collecting as many URLs from fellow bloggers as possible, and we were promised that the URLs on each of our lists would be counted and the blogger with the longest list would win a box of cupcakes. Despite the fact that (like Get Lippie later said whilst the rest of us cringed as we felt perhaps her accidental case of foot-in-mouth disease might have offended Hayley...) I'm sick of the sight of cupcakes, I am quite competitive and love meeting other bloggers, so I got mingling and collected a list of about 30 URLs. Unfortunately, the competition element of this task was forgotten until way later in the day, so to those that left TOWIB early the task was essentially redundant apart from simply to discover new blogs. One such blogger has cussed the organizers out for falsely promising a prize, but this is just not true. Nonetheless, despite the fact that the room and layout of the room was no good for accommodating the amount of guests, the task was generally fun and inoffensive. 

Next up, we had a Q&A session with some PR industry insiders, including a young lady from Motel which supplies Topshop amongst others, another young lady who is currently working on Nivea and Dove campaigns and finally Hayley, the TOWIB organizer, who also labels PR, brand managment and copy writing amongst her work tasks. I did find this session quite useful and I will be posting a 'Social Networking... Working with PR' post soon to come so I'll let you in on the likes and dislikes of those PRs which so many of us want to be working with! However, I did find that there was much repetition of the same questions and hence the same responses and also that self-editing in the name of appearing professional was virtually non-existent. Some answers given by the experts were slightly longer than necessary and the bad-mouthing by one of the panel with regards to Handpicked Media was not appreciated by much of the audience and has since become somewhat of a hot topic. I must apologize for not being able to give names, this is for two reasons... 1) I don't wish to shine anyone in a negative light if I can help it and 2) I couldn't even if I wanted to, due to the lack of appropriate acoustics I actually didn't catch their names. 

Check back for Part 2 of this review, to be shortly posted...

Did you go to TOWIB? What did you think? What are your thoughts about the 'ERC on Twitter' as I like to call it... (Event Review Controversy)?


Friday, 10 February 2012

IMATS 2012... Lan Nguyen Beauty for Fashion and Editorial Part 1...

So you all know I went to IMATS (the International Make-Up Artist Trade Show) last weekend and had a fab time. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go on Sunday as I'd initially planned because of the snow and I was absolutely gutted :( However, I did make it to three out of four of the seminars which I had on my itinerary which I posted here and since there are so many standard 'IMATS Hauls' posts (which I love by the way...) I decided to do something a bit different and post a little about some of the tips and tricks I was able to pick up from industry royalty.

Without further ado, here is the first part of my seminar 'review' of the beautiful MUA Lan Nguyen (celebs she's done include the likes of The Sugababes and Ollie Murs amongst others...) on the theme of 'Beauty for Fashion and Editorial'.
There is so much to learn from such a beauty genius as Lan in just one hour, and when her team were running fifteen minutes late, I was worried that I might end up missing out. However, this is one lady who you can tell really loves her job as she made a big point of pushing the time limitations of the IMATS team afterwards, running about twenty-five minutes over. Plus, the seminar was rammed full of such fab info that no-one left the room feeling like the extra fifteen minute wait wasn't worth it!
So for a bit of background on Lan, she introduced her three models which were obviously in three different stages of the same look. The first had a virtually bare face with a high-rise messy wrap bun slicked back in order to draw the hair from the face making it easier for Lan to work. The second had a kind of Marie Antoinette crossed with geisha-inspired hair which was my favorite hair look and a relatively bare face bar an immaculate looking base. Also, her eye brows were kind of none existent which I'll get onto later. The third and final model had her entire face with a dramatic covering of metallic silver paint, and looking like something from a parallel-universe-film, her hair was arranged hanging from a bar horizontally placed across her head. 
Lan explained that she doesn't always have an exact vision of how the models are going to look, or how she will execute a brief which made the audience of make-up enthusiasts stir with excitement as we had no idea what variation on the look each of the models would end up with. 
As she prepped the first model's skin with POREfessional by benefit (apparently one of her favorites for giving a smooth-as-a-baby's-butt base for foundation application... she even said that her celeb client Ruby Wax is a big fan!) Lan began to give those of us who weren't completely aware of the amazing work that she's done somewhat of a star-studded overview of her career so far. As an MUA often working in high-def for fashion, film, television and more, Lan put her work with top brands such as L'Oreal, Tony and Guy, Vogue, Vanity Fair and more down to her 'editorial sensibilities'.
The work she did on this first model was most interesting to me as she used a couple of products which I didn't know existed. Firstly, she used tape in order to create lift around the model's eyes, making a more feline shape. Since the seminar I've see these types of tape used on America's Next Top Model, and they basically act as a 'temporary face-lift'. Next, Lan used plain cosmetic wax in order to conceal the eyebrows. She brushed them upwards with a mascara spoolie and applied the wax with her fingers (making it more pliable and easy to work with) and before I knew it, poof, the model's brows were gone! After dabbing on the setting formula to keep those invisible brows in place. Lan swears by using sponges in order to stipple on her foundation of choice, and she used MAC Full Coverage Concealer just to make those brows look even more neutral than before. Now the model's own brows were gone, Lan was able to map out the 'avant-garde 1940's-50's style straight brow' which she felt was right for the look with a bit of brown powder and a slanted brush. She made a big point of saying that these didn't NEED to be perfect at this stage, but need only give a general idea of how the face would be framed. 

After mixing a cooler and warmer tone of foundation* for the face, she dusted a very metallic white shade mineral make-up loose powder across the cheek bones in order to add to the porcelain effect of this look. It was at this point that Lan went back over the brows in order to reinforce the look that she was after.

Moving onto the lips, Lan used a lip brush in order to apply a mixture of MAC's Danger and Woo shades. She lined the lips before filling them in, and then surprisingly enough she began to pat a variety of neon-coloured loose eye pigments on top of the lipstick**. The effect of this was an almost velvety-matte finish which I'm definitely going to be trying out in A/W 2013, although probably not if I plan on kissing anybody as it might get messy...

In order to tidy the edges of the lips up a tiny bit, Lan applied some of the foundation mix I mentioned before, prior to dusting the cheekbones with the translucent white powder as before and applying a slather of The Body Shop's Radiance Highlighter which was again applied with the fingers.*** On the topic of contouring the face, Lan laughed and told us that she uses so many products in order to contour before a look is complete, and she wasn't joking! She mixes powders and creams in order to gain the best look. Using a mauve-ish colour, she used a flat-topped brush in order to pat the colour under the cheekbones before dusting to blend. Complimenting the darkness of this colour, a hot pink was blended slightly higher on the cheekbones although NOT on the apples of the cheeks as these were kept relatively neutral bar a sprinkling of gold which was then blended into a barely-there lush look across the entire face. The key to this is 'controlled contouring' as Lan says, and basically (as far as I can tell) is all about blending as much as possible and building as you go along. The end of this model's look was completed with a covering of white shadow under the eyes, really allowing them to pop and making fall-out removal once the eye shadow was began much easier to deal with.

And this is what Lan Nyugen refers to as a 'blank canvas'! Took her about twenty-five minutes to do, she must have used at least twenty-five products and this was her base!!! This is incredible to me, especially when considering that the majority of this would soon be covered in the final look with metallic paint. However, Lan feels that all these steps are vital in order to allow a good enough base to carry the heavier products and also to be aware of the shapes of the fact which you would like to prevail in the final look, and she's the boss! 
So this is the most 'wearable' version of the editorial look which Lan created and as you can see, even this is quite extreme! The eyebrows stayed as a simple straight line, there was no eye products applied whatsoever and the lip remained the boldest feature in the look, which I absolutely loved. Especially as this is a big trend for this S/S 2012, keeping a neutral eye but a bolder matte lip. It was really interesting to see how actual mainstream day-to-day catwalk beauty looks inspire the crazy beauty features we see in magazines! 
Tips and Elaborations...
*A tip which Lan thinks is totally necessary in achieving a balanced-looking base as the skin usually has a mix of tones. She mixes face and body, fluid and heavier creams and using different colours together for most models. If using tinted moisturizer one colour is fine as it naturally balances the skin-tone.
**Lan concentrated more on the middle of the lips with the loose pigments and there was virtually no fallout due to the finger-style application and the adhesive which naturally comes with lipstick! 
***Lan often uses her fingers and she insists that whilst brushes are undoubtedly useful, they are not absolutely necessary for creating great looks. She says that brushes are a 'luxury' and with the growing prices of make-up brushes these days, I must agree.
In my next post I will go into the looks of the second and third models, some more tips I picked up during the seminar and a bit of background info on how Lan Nyugen gained her success in the industry so far.
Hope you enjoyed this post and learnt a few bits and bobs if you're considering any kind of career in beauty!
Did you go to IMATS? What kind of beauty career do you want? Do you have a favorite make-up artist or tip I should know about?

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Haute Body: Jenny Craig Introduction...

When the prestigious diet Jenny Craig got in touch agreeing to supply me with two weeks worth of diet food (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for each day) I thought all my Christmasses had come at once, as I'd been wanting to have a healthier diet after Christmas which I didn't have to spend hours cooking for.

Here is what the fab brand says about themselves:

'Jenny Craig, Inc. was founded in Australia in 1983 by weight loss experts Jenny and Sidney Craig, who sought to establish ‘a company that would incorporate all the necessary benefits of successful weight management’. Jenny Craig opened its first nine Weight Loss Centres in Melbourne, all of which still stand today.

Today, Jenny Craig, Inc. is one of the largest weight-management service companies in the world, with company-owned and franchised Operations in the US, UK, France, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Puerto Rico. It is now part of the Nestlé Group.

Over the past 25 years, we've helped millions of people worldwide learn how to eat a nutritious diet that includes many of their favourite foods, increase their energy level through simple activity, and build more balance into their lives for optimal weight loss and well-being.'

What I love most about this diet (apart from the fact that it is reasonably priced diet food delivered to your door) is that the food looks and tastes delicious! I'm a couple of days into the diet now and I haven't been hungry once, plus even my chocolate cravings are satiated with the chocolate wafer and white-chocolate chip cereal snack bars.

So let's get down to business shall we? Each day on the Jenny Craig diet costs a bargainous £11 and this includes one breakfast, one snack, one lunch and one dinner. Also included in the price is a twice weekly call from an encouraging consultant (mine is called Leanne and she's absolutely lovely!), a 'support guide' for any further questions and a grocery list which enables you to encorporate your favorite foods (in moderation of course...) into your weekly menu. Good value for money? Definitely, especially when you consider that you could lose up to three pounds in weight per week, if a moderate exercise routine is included.

I will be posting another few posts on this fab diet so keep your eyes peeled for those soon! I'll do some pictures of the actual food, a review of the service and an evaluation post also, so if you have any interest in a diet that really works, you'll know where to come :)

All questions welcome in the comments section of this video (as ever) but if you have anything urgent you just need to know, then check on the Jenny Craig website as it's such an informative page that you're sure to find your answers there:

I just want to say a great big thank you to everyone on the Jenny Craig team that I've dealt with so far... Luise, James and Leanne have been fantastic taking my calls whenever I've needed them and not grumbled one bit when my questions have been stupid (how was I to know that I could swap my days around if necessary...?)

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Thanks for watching, guys and I'll see you soon!

gabriellasofia x

Thursday, 2 February 2012

IMATS 2012... My Plans For IMATS...

IMATS is just two days away now and I'm getting mixed emotions... I'm absolutely dazzled at the idea that HauteFuture, a blog which was just an idea this time next year, has been invited as press for one of the largest international make-up conventions the globe has ever seen. I feel so lucky! I'm super excited, but also kind of nervous as I've never been to IMATS before and I know it's a huge beauty cult event and I don't want to look like a total amateur... not least because I've written myself a little itinerary of the seminars I'd like to attend. Is that a bit nerdy? Nonetheless, here are the seminars I'm hoping to hit, in amongst the shopping and a cheeky visit or two to the VIP section which I referred to in my previous IMATS blog... I've borrowed the seminar descriptions and photographs from the IMATS website.


9.30am - I need to collect my Press Pass from the IMATS registration team

IMATS London 2012 Educator: David Allen Jones

11.45am to 12.45pmCover FX presents DAVID ALLAN JONES 'Complexion Fundamentals from Runway to Editorial' International fashion make-up artist David Allan Jones will discuss the importance of creating beautiful, luminous skin for runway and editorial. He will discuss ways to integrate CoverFX products into your kit to ensure your models have picture-perfect skin. His extensive make-up work on the runways of New York, Paris and Milan—as well as his editorial make-ups in leading fashion magazines such as ELLE Italia, Flair, Tatler, Wallpaper and Harper’s Bazaar—have earned him international recognition. At LONDESBOROUGH ROOM STAGE.

IMATS London 2012 Educator: Lan Nguyen

1pm to 2pm - Make-Up Artist magazine presents FEATURED SPEAKER LAN NGUYEN 'Beauty Make-up for Fashion and Editorial' Join Lan Nguyen as she discusses the importance of teamwork in the fashion industry, the collaborative process and on-set etiquette. Nguyen’s demonstration will feature editorial and runway looks created with a mixture of products and textures. She will break her process into quick, easy steps, transitioning from natural looks to a few of the fashion looks she created for previous shows. At PALACE SUITE STAGE.

IMATS London 2012 Panel: Oscars

2.45pm - 3.45pm - Make-Up Artist magazine presents ANN BUCHANAN (Hugo), MARK COULIER (The Iron Lady), NICK DUDMAN (the Harry Potter series), DAVID MARTÍ (Gainsbourg: Ve heroique), BJOERN REHBEIN (Anonymous) and MONTSE RIBÉ (Gainsbourg: Ve heroique
'Oscar Panel Discussion' 

oin Leonard Engelman and this group of Oscar-winning make-up artists as they discuss the Academy Award process, from presenting their work at the bake-off to walking the red carpet. Moderated by Make-Up Artist magazine publisher and IMATS Director Michael Key. At MAIN STAGE

IMATS London 2012 Educator: Valente Frazier
4pm - 5pm - Make-Up Artist magazine presents KEYNOTE SPEAKER VALENTÉ FRAZIER 'Red-Carpet Make-up: Essential Tools and Techniques' IMATS London 2012 Keynote Speaker Valenté Frazier is an Emmy Award-winning make-up artist with celebrity clients including Tyra Banks, Iman, Rihanna, Kerry Washington and Ciara. From a radiant canvas to the perfect pout, Frazier will reveal his expertise in crafting a camera-ready look by sharing the tips, techniques and Hollywood beauty tricks he uses onAmerica’s Next Top Model and with his A-list clients. At MAIN STAGE.


IMATS London 2012 Educator: Kevin James Bennett

11am - 12pmRoyal & Langnickel Brush Mfg. presents KEVIN JAMES BENNETT 'Techniques and Tools' A superior make-up application is determined by artists’ technical skills and the quality of their tools.  Emmy Award-winning artist Kevin James Bennett demonstrates a fashion- forward look using the techniques and tools that help him create beautiful make-up, time after time. At OPEN FORUM STAGE.

IMATS London 2012 Educator: Elessa Vovan

12.15pm - 1.15pm - Crown Brush presents ELESSA JADE of 'Brush Essential Confidential' Make-up brushes are an essential part of any kit, and learning the fundamentals of proper brush application will put you ahead of the curve. Find out what makes an ideal brush, which brushes all make-up artist need in their kits and how each brush creates a different look and finish. Elessa Jade will also show you how to repurpose your brushes in a way you have never seen. At PALACE SUITE STAGE.

IMATS London 2012 Educator: Eve Pearl

1.30pm - 2.30pm - EVE PEARL presents 'HD Bridal Beauty: From Natural to Hollywood Glamour'' The bridal industry is one of the most important and consistent sources of income for make-up artists. Emmy-winning artist and author Eve Pearl focuses on the bride and wedding party, paying special attention to skin tone, color theory and the EVE PEARL® method. Pearl shares her special way of applying eyelashes, creating a natural facelift, remedies for dark circles, blemishes, tattoos, scars and more. Learn how to coordinate bridal trials, book jobs, create bridal contracts, what to charge for services, preparation and organization. Learn how to achieve a long-lasting look on all skin tones, step-by-step corrective make-up techniques and how to advertise and promote your services to brides. At OPEN FORUM STAGE.

IMATS London 2012 Featured Bloggers: Pixiwoo

3pm - 4pm - Make-Up Artist magazine presents SAM and NIC CHAPMAN aka PIXIWOO 'YouTube Guru Q&A' Sam and Nic Chapman, aka Pixiwoo, share the must-have items in her make-up kits and their favorite make-up treasures. They will also answers questions on topics ranging from favorite brushes to make-up application tips to how to get started as a make-up artist or YouTube guru. Pixiwoo have nearly 430,000 subscribers and their videos have been viewed almost 75,000,000 times! At PALACE SUITE STAGE.


So I know that may be a ridiculously ambitious itinerary... I don't know how far apart these stages are based or how over-subscribed they will each by, but I'm hoping to at least make it to three of those things per day, so we'll see how it goes! 

Are you going to the International Makeup Artist Trade Show? Have you ever been to a similar event? Which seminars would you go to, given the chance?

Expect OOTD posts to come and hopefully a haul or two also... I'll be posting a full write up of each day too, so hopefully it will all go well and I'll have awesome stuff to report. I literally can't wait!