Zoella Beauty – Cross-Section Product Review

As a modern-day blogger, it is clear that YouTube would have definitely seeped into my consciousness. And I am well aware that in the past couple of years, some of the higher-ranking YouTube stars have released merchandise that goes past their own websites and into the high-street shops. And yes, I have bought into them.

And what did excite me when they first come out was the Zoella Beauty products – a line that was designed, and has had every step on the way, input from hugely successfully YouTuber, Zoe Sugg or Zoella. This line features bath and body creams, candles, makeup lines and fragrences, and are priced between £3-£8, so not overly expensive. The line has become hugely successful in participating Superdrug shops, and has attracted fans from around the UK to be able to buy pieces that Zoella herself believes in. So, I took it upon myself to try and test a cross-section of these products.

Over the last year when they came out, I have bought.

From the Original Collection:

  • The ‘Soak Opera’ – Bath Cream and Body Wash
  • The ‘Blissful Mistful’ Body Spray
  • The ‘Zoella Eyes’ Makeup Bag

From the Tutti Fruitt Collection:

  • The ‘Scrubbing Me Softly’ Body Scrub
  • The ‘Lets Spritz’ Body Spray.

The collection features a range of beauty products, from body sprays, bath washes and makeup lines. The packaging of these products are in a very Zoella-esque colour scheme, such as pastel colours, polka-dots, bows, and pretty handwritten labels. The original collection is in a more neutral colour scheme, such as white, light cream and pink, whilst the newer Tutti Fruity is designed with summer in mind – and features more of a vibrant pink, blues and yellows. With the packaging, and the products names, this collection is very desirable for younger audience of Zoella, yet the fragrances and quality design do appeal to the age bracket of 18 and above.

So, let’s get into the reviews:

The ‘Soak Opera’ – Bath and Body Cream (Original Collection)

This bottle was one of the products that impressed me the most. Not only did the name draw me in, but the size of it – nearly 500ml – seemed to be a good deal for the £5 it was sold at. Now, I’m not an idiot in the sense that I know there are better, and less expensive shower gels and bath creams on the market. But for it being a piece of YouTube merchandise that is widely available, I thought it was a pretty good deal. I’ve seen lower quality YouTuber merchandise for higher prices.

The ‘Soak Opera’ doubles up as a shower gel to use, or a bath cream that you run under hot water to create the highly-desired bubble bath that most girls want to experience in their lives. The liquid is a light pink in colour, and only the smallest amount needs to be squeezed under the water to make an entire bath’s worth of bubbles. Which I thought showed it to be a good piece of high quality bubble bath.

Now, the original collection all comes in one scent, which is both floral – such as gardenia and jasmine but also with a strong overtone of vanilla. Now, fragrance is a really personal thing in a person’s life. And unless floral tones are done well, they can smell cheap and sometimes nauseating. But with this line, the scent is still sweet, and highly feminine, but it is quite subtle in a way.

And in the case of the ‘Soak Opera’, the scent has been transferred well. But unfortunately, in my opinion, neither the bubbles or the smell remains when bathing. The bubbles disappear fairly quickly, and the scent just goes. And despite it also being marketed as a shower gel, the fragrance doesn’t remain either when being used that way. I do use it fairly liberally, and apply it to a loofah before washing my body, and despite it foaming up well, it doesn’t leave any gorgeous smells behind, which my Dove body wash does. And for a product that has such promise, this is a really unfortunate touch.

But, for a gorgeously marketed bottle, and quite a generous size at that, I will keep adding it to my bath.

The ‘Blissful Mistful’ (Original Collection) and ‘Lets Spritz’ (Tutti Fruity) Body Mist.

Now, if there’s one thing you need to know about me, is that I love body sprays. Not because I smell uneccessarily bad, or have a serious sweating problem, but because they are cheaper versions of perfume that can easily be bought, re-bought and if you break them or lose them it’s not something that is too upsetting. And they just add a refreshing boost anytime during the day, and you can easily store them in your bag.

And I have used the ‘Blissful Mistful’ scent for nearly a year now. And by the level of my bottle, it is safe to say I’ve used it a generous amount.

The ‘Blissful Mistful’ scent is from the original line, and has the floral/vanilla signature fragrance from the first collection. It comes in a glass, square bottle, with a reddish bronze colour lid and a polka-dot back. Now, for a scent that is under £10, it has got quite a good, light and summery scent that appeals to all ages, but like I said, for a scent under £10, it lasts a good few hours. Apparently it has Vitamin E oil in the fragrance too, which is also super moisturising for the skin. But like I said before, fragrances are a really personal touch, so I thoroughly recommend that you try it out before you buy. But to me, the scent is quite classical, clean and floral. And for £8, it can’t be missed.

And the ‘Lets Spritz’ Body Mist. Now, the Tutti Fruity collection is the perfect accessory for summer, as it’s not florally, but has a zesty, citrus fragrance that is very reminiscent of actual Tooty Fruity sweets. And with the high water content, and lack of oil with these body mists, they don’t linger on the skin in a sticky manner, but need constant reapplication. Which can be either good for people who want that burst of scent, or bad for fans of long-lasting perfume. Now, out of my two body sprays, I prefer the packaging of this one. With white lace detailing being visible through the back, a purple tint on the fluid itself and contrasting blue-greeny font and lid, which also has white polka-dots, this looks adorable on every surface. However, despite this burst of scent being fresh and not an overwhelming, or headachey smell, it disappears very quickly. I’ve timed it wearing off in about an hour. But, I guess for £8, it could be forgiven.

So a round up – if you want floral, sweet scents that stay on your skin – try the ‘Blissful Misful’, but if you want citrus, fruity scents that need a bit more application, give the ‘Lets Spritz’ a try. I keep both of them in my handbag, for the days when I want to feel a bit refresher, and not care about reapplication.

‘Zoella Eyes’ Makeup Bag

This bag is probably one of my most used, and useFUL pieces in the collection. Decorated in a bright scheme of aqua and coral polka-dots, as well as having a print of Zoe’s own made-up eyes, the bag is not only 100% PVC on the outside, therefore making it wipe-clean, but also spacious and roomy. Now, before my cosmetics grew just a tad too big for a regular size makeup bag, I used this as a everyday bag, and it has now downgraded to my everyday bits-and-bobs case. With it, I can easily store:

  • Folded-up full case of baby wipes
  • Tissues
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Toothpaste
  • Electric toothbrush
  • Deodrants – roll on and spray
  • Body spray
  • Hairclips
  • Hairbands
  • Mini hairbrush

So, as you can see, it does store a lot of the essentials. However, one criticism I do have for it is that the interior is fabric, so it can get very dirty, very easily. However, the print, fairly good price of £8, and design that doesn’t necessarily scream ‘Zoella Beauty’ so will appeal to people who want to own a piece of YouTube merchandise without necessarily shouting about it, is worth it all. It’s a good size, surprisingly roomy and can fit in most bags as a travel makeup bag, or an emergency kit.

The ‘Scrubbing Me Softly’ Body Scrub.

Another surprisingly good quality product. This scrub is to be applied on damp, tough skin and to just exfoliate the dead stuff away. What I was impressed by is the price against the quality and longevity of this product. For £6, this 280g tub is guaranteed to last a long time, as the texture of this product isn’t soft and can be easily used up quickly. It comes out as quite a hard, but malleable texture that feels thick and unwieldy at first application, but I guess due to body heat, it melts slightly and can be easily spread. Enriched with blueberry and acai, this product not only keeps its fragrance long after application – which was my issue with Zoella’s own bath products – but it really does do the job. It seems to get all the dead skin away to leave a smooth skin surface. Also, with conditioning cocoa butter, this not only exfoliates but conditions, so you don’t necessarily have to moisturise afterwards. 

With adorable packaging of a light lemon, and dark pink highlights, I am tempted to say this is my favourite product out of the whole Tutti Fruitti line.

So, what is my overall opinion on Zoella Beauty?

As, I’ve said before, this is only a cross-section of the products, so if you want a more overall and better reviewer of every single product, I’m sure there is others out there. But in my opinion, Zoella has created a substainable beauty line that smells gorgeous, is a fairly reasonable price for her target audience and has given us all good quality products that I won’t be afraid to re-buy when I run out. And with two lines, she shows that she can bring out different scents that smell equally as good, and that she can go into different areas of body creams with the write blend of good packaging, good ingredients and good marketing campaigns. Like I said before, my only gripe is that I wish the products would have a scent that remained on the skin for longer, and truthfully, that there were more options.

Overall Review – 3/5

Girl Online by Zoella – Book Review

Title: Girl Online

Author: Zoe Sugg/Zoella

Rating: 3/5

Rating: Young Adult Literature, Children Literature, YouTuber Fiction


“Every time you post something online you have a choice. You can either make it something that adds to the happiness levels in the world—or you can make it something that takes away.”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or perhaps just don’t know about the modern phenomena of the YouTuber, you would know who Zoella, or Zoe Sugg is. But for those who are unaware, I’ll give you a brief update.

Zoella is a beauty/lifestyle vlogger and online presence that is one of the most famous English YouTubers to date. With nearly 9 million subscribers, over 500 million video views, and nearly 4 million Twitter Followers, she has been crowned the ‘Queen of YouTube’, by a number of articles.

To get a fuller picture, I’ll link some articles below for your casual reading.

Zoella (The Independent October 2014)

Zoella (The DailyMail November 2014)

Zoella (DigitalSpy November 2014)

And, last year, this bubbly twenty-five year old released her debut novel, ‘Girl Online’. And in October, Girl Online: On Tour is to be released. So I thought I’d do my own review of the debut book, just to prepare readers for the sequel.

So meet Penny. Under the alias, Girl online, Penny blogs about her hidden feelings and personal experiences with friendship, boys, school drama, family issues and her recent panic attacks that are slowly beginning to take over her life. And when things go from bad to worse, her family decide to take her away to New York for a break away from normality. Whilst there she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. And suddenly, Penny is falling in love. And, of course, writing everything about it on her blog.

But she’s not the only one that has a secret. Noah has his own secret, and this one could be one to threaten to ruin Penny’s cover – and her closest friendship – forever

So, as you can see, Girl Online fits in with the generalised, chick-lit-YA style of novel, as well as being an obvious tie in to Zoella’s own experiences – as starting off as a blogger, and moving onto a bigger audience on YouTube. This novel is a pretty heart-warming tale of young love, that does grip the reader at the end of each chapter, as well as having an ending that is both satisfactory as a stand-alone book, but could open up for possible sequels.

However, this novel features something that’s unique to the modern young adult market, as it deals with issues and pressures that teens nowadays would relate too – such as cyber-bullying, an online presence conflicting with the real self, issues with sexuality and then ‘coming-out’, the loss of friendships, mental illnesses and the first dizzy dabbles of love – and it does this with the sensitivity and knowledge that one would expect Zoella, as a significant idol for many young girls, would deal with. Now, it was revealed after publication that this novel was ghost-written, which did throw up some criticism from Suggs’ fans, but it is clear that despite not writing it, the ideas and plot idea is personal to Zoe.

I found the story arc of panic attacks and anxiety disorders to be something that I could seriously relate too. It wasn’t hidden under a guise of anything, but out there in the bleak daylight. The physical and mental effects of going through a panic attack was well-documented, and Penny does go through the same worry about having them as millions of people around the globe have, whilst dealing with them. And also, in a little side-note, Noah gives Penny a coping strategy to dealing with panic attacks that I would be interested to know if it works, as this could be a really important piece of knowledge that Zoe has shared out to her audience.

For the actual writing, I was pleasantly surprised. Now, as I said before, this is a ghost-written piece of text, but the writer has clearly written in a way that imitates the way that Zoe talks, writes her blogs and has just an overall Zoe-esque vibe. This is no great piece of literature, so don’t put it up there. It fits more into the realm of YA literature, as it’s easy to understand, and the writing doesn’t offer any surprises or plot spoilers. Like most YA novels, there are clichés and corny bits that did make me roll my eyes, and the whole episode where there was farting did make me a bit exasperated, but it was definitely a ‘safe’ story, so all ages could read it. Even a ten-year old could read it.

And for characterisation, I was equally as surprised to how developed they were. I did find myself wanting a boy like Noah in my life, and definitely wanting a friend like Elliot’s – who is Penny’s best friend and overall rock of support. I thought that Zoe did also bring the romance to life. She made the feelings very real, and made you, as the writer be immersed into the emotions that Penny was feel. You felt excited when Penny did, or sad or worried whenever she felt that. And that’s a good test of a good story.

Through my reading of the text, Zoe puts her whole heart-and-soul in this narrative, and she poignantly includes blog posts that do sound a lot like her own. But it was one line that made me think ‘ah, this is Zoe talking to us, not Penny’, and it was the line:

Everytime you post something online you have a choice.

For me, this is crucial tip that Zoe is sharing out to her readers and fans. Because there is that choice – that choice that you as the reader, or internet-browser, or blogger or whatever, need to keep in the back of your mind. You have a choice about what you think is right to share online, and you need to have limits. If you think that sharing personal information is what you want to do, just remember how it could affect you in the future.

You have that choice.

And nobody should ever pressure you into making up your mind about what you think is right and wrong.

This novel did surprise me in how much I would love it, and how much it made me want read on well into the night and not want to put it down. I’ve been a fan of Zoe for a few years now, and I do own some pieces from her cosmetics line which also did surprise me over the quality of the products. So, I’d happily recommend and pass this novel onto other readers. I’ll continue to support Zoella through whatever she does, and I am excited for the next installment to come out. But be aware. This isn’t a great piece of literature, but it never puts on a front saying it will.

So, if you want a novel that is heart-warming, addictive, romantic,

Image courtesy of Penguin.com

clichéd and a bit corny in the right places – then go to your local bookshop and pick up ‘Girl Online’.

Links:

Buy the book – Amazon/Waterstones

Zoella – Youtube/Twitter/Blog

Thank you!

-Alice