TEAM ZOELLA FEBRUARY 29, 2020

14 Weird and Wonderful Traditions & Superstitions Explained

With this year being a leap year - s/o to the ladies getting down on bended knee - we got thinking about all kinds of the weird and wonderful traditions and superstitions we observe and where they came from.

From throwing the bridal bouquet to saluting lone magpies and puckering up under the mistletoe, here’s how these customs came to be.

Throwing the bouquet at weddings

Many moons ago, it was considered extremely good luck to get your hands on a piece of the bride. In a bid to keep the dress and veil in one piece, brides began throwing their bouquets in the air to distract the frenzied guests. Today, it is believed whoever catches the bride’s bouquet will be the next one down the aisle.

Eating roast dinner on a Sunday

The Sunday roast gained popularity during the reign of King Henry VII when the Yeomen of the Guard would eat roast beef every Sunday after church. They became known affectionately as the “beefeaters”. Now, it’s an opportunity to gather round the table with friends and family and dig into some hearty food on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Wearing black at funerals

The tradition of wearing black in mourning dates back to the Roman Empire when they would dress in dark wool togas. The custom was later adopted by Queen Victoria who wore black when she was in mourning for her beloved Prince Albert. In Western culture, it is still traditional to wear black for funerals but elsewhere, mourners can be seen in lighter dress. In China, for example, it’s traditional to wear white.

Opening an umbrella indoors

According to this superstition, if you open an umbrella indoors it does terrible things for your luck. One theory dates back to ancient Egypt when nobility would use parasols made of peacock feathers and papyrus to protect themselves from the sun. Opening them indoors – away from the sun’s rays – would be seen as an insult to the sun deity ‘Ra’ and you’d be cursed forever more.

The second origin is from the Victorian era when umbrellas were constructed with steel spokes and opening one indoors could cause injury or eye loss.

Like the Victorians, we probably just avoid opening brollies indoors nowadays purely to escape injury rather than the wrath of the sun gods.

No new shoes on the table

Superstition states that putting new shoes on the table is bad luck and the harbinger of death. Although the origin is largely unknown, it is thought to have come from the mining industry. When minors passed away, their family would bring their shoes home and leave them on the table as a tribute. Superstition aside, who wants shoes with their breakfast anyway?

Kissing under mistletoe

The name comes from the Anglo Saxon ‘mistle’ meaning dung and ‘tan’ which means twig. So yeah, sh*t on a stick. Ain’t that the stuff of romance?

The plant’s association with romance dates back to traditional Norse mythology. In the tale, the god Baldur was plagued by dreams foretelling his death and so his mother Frigg, goddess of love, set about protecting him by asking every animal and plant to take an oath never to hurt him.

Loki, a jealous god, realised mistletoe had been overlooked in the oath-taking and targeted Baldur with a mistletoe arrow which killed him. Frigg’s tears became the pearlescent berries we still see today but rather than punish mistletoe, she ruled that it should become a symbol of love and friendship. We still prefer the turd stick version, personally.

Getting pooped on by a bird is good luck

A symbol of good luck in pooey disguise? Go figure. There’s no real explanation for this other than us humans wanting to make the best out of a sh*tty situation.

Candles on birthday cakes

Blowing out candles on your birthday cake is a long-standing tradition that can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks. They would bake round honey cakes as offerings for their gods and goddesses and top them with candles to make them glow like the moon in tribute to the moon goddess, Artemis.

Walking under a ladder

In medieval times, people believed a ladder against the wall resembled the gallows, so if someone walked underneath one it was thought that they would meet the same dreadful fate. Another theory was that when leaned against a wall, the ladder formed a triangle and signified the Holy Trinity. Walking underneath one would therefore break the trinity and be considered blasphemy.

Broken mirrors seven years bad luck

The Romans believed mirrors to be magic portals into the soul, thus breaking one would damage the soul and could not be righted until the next seven-year cycle had passed. This was the amount of time they believed it took for life to renew itself.

Unlucky numbers

Friday 13th is steeped in neggy vibes! Many believe the superstition originated from the Bible and the Last Supper – attended by 13 people. Judas, who betrayed Jesus, is thought to have been the 13th guest to sit down, so we have him to blame for triskaidekaphobia. Fridays are also unlucky because of the association with Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday – making Friday 13th the double whammy of bad luck.

Single magpies

One for sorrow or so the song goes! Magpies have long been associated with death and skulduggery ever since Early Christians saw the bird as a symbol of dissipation. It was said to be the only bird not to sing to comfort Jesus on the cross and after his death, it was the only bird not to enter mourning due to its pied plumage.

The notion that the magpie is a bad bird has stuck around and plenty of us still see the solitary magpie as a sign of doom.

A black cat crossing your path

During the middle ages, it was believed that witches would shape shift into black cats to prowl the streets. This belief was echoed in 17th century America during the time of the Salem witch trials.

Leap year proposal

For centuries matrimonial matters were strictly reserved for the gents. According to an old Irish legend, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to give women the chance to pop the question every four years. If they were refused, the man was obliged to buy her a gown or 12 pairs of gloves. As if that’s a fair consolation prize, right? Hey, you’re not worthy of a ring but here, have a lifetime supply of gloves instead. Love you.

We personally think as a woman you should be able to propose whenever you damn well please, so we caught up with Hannah Witton – who proposed to her BF last year – about how it all went down.

Did you have lots of planning beforehand or did you decide to just go for it in the moment?

I’m a planner in all aspects of my life so yeah I did plan the proposal but not to the exact moment. I knew I wanted to propose with the card game Fluxx and with a Poppy (from League of Legends) key ring so the first thing I needed to do was order those items online. Then I had to wait for them to arrive and draw on the cards. Once that was all done it was just a matter of waiting for the right moment, which to be honest never came! I kept asking Dan if he wanted to play Fluxx with me but he kept turning me down. I was on the train back from a trip to Edinburgh and that was when I decided I was just going to do it – game of Fluxx be damned!

Did you feel the need to do anything trad like get down on one knee?

A little bit, but only because I thought it would be funny. I also got down on one knee because when I proposed he was already sat down. Practical and traditional!

What do you think of the tradition that you’re only “allowed” to do it on leap day?

If you want to use that as an excuse to propose, go for it! But I’m a big advocate for just doing things on your own terms and interrogating these traditions to really know if it’s something that you want and suits you or something you’re doing “just because it’s tradition”. Women should be able to propose any year they like, there are no gatekeepers in proposals (except for the person you’re proposing to).

What were your friends and family’s reaction after the proposal?

It was all very positive but some friends were like “wait is this real or a joke?” haha!

What were Dan’s thoughts and feelings on the proposal?

I just asked him and his words exactly are “I thought it was very nice, it was entertaining, you did a good job”. Hahaha so there you go… At the time he was confused because he thought we were already engaged. Which technically we were, we’d already told family we were going to get married and had started figuring out dates, it was just a conversation but neither of had actually proposed yet. So when I proposed, he really wasn’t expecting. But at least I knew he was definitely going to say yes!

How superstitious are you? Let us know in the comments below!

TEAM ZOELLA FEBRUARY 28, 2020

Songs To Put A Spring In Your Step

You know those songs that make your body move in a way that is both liberating and ever so slightly alarming?

You know those songs that make your body move in a way that is both liberating and ever so slightly alarming? It starts with a tapping of toe, maybe a modest happy head nod, then before you know it you’re using the Hoover nozzle as a microphone and the kitchen as your stage. Things escalate. Your hair has a mind of its own, neighbours start banging on walls, car alarms start going off. But nothing can hold you back because you’re having such a good time, you’re having a ball. You are Freddie Mercury levels of unstoppable.

Whether you’re knee-deep in DIY and housework, looking for some motivation to get you up and at ’em for the day or simply looking for some feel-good bops to add to your car playlist, these are the songs that are sure to put a spring in your step! Find the Spotify playlist here.

Maddie added…

The Killers – Mr Brightside

You can’t not sing along to this banger, it’s my no1 Karaoke pick. I love it so much my husband and I had an acoustic version as our first dance song at our wedding.

Bon Jovi – It’s my life

If I’m ever feeling down this song is GUARANTEED to make me feel better. I’m a huge advocate of the YOLO mentality and this song is all about living life to the fullest. It’s now or never.

Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the dark

If there was ever a song to put a spring in your step, it’s this one. Picture a young fresh-faced Courtney Cox rocking out on stage with The Boss and you’ll be bopping along in no time.

Danielle added…

Britney Spears – Work Bitch

This song never fails to get me positively PUMPED. I like to blast it on the way to work when I’ve made the effort to do both my hair & makeup and the sun is shining.

Kanye West / Sunday Service Choir – Every Hour

If you have not listened to this album yet stop what you’re doing and blast it straight into your ear holes. Nothing can get people bouncing like a full-blown church choir. AMEN.

Major Lazer – Light it up

SHABBA, this is song is just great and reminds me of festivals, beer gardens, and sunny wonderful days.

Zoe added…

S Club 7 – ALL SONGS

When the sun starts shining my mood is instantly lifted. This time last year Alfie surprised me by getting S Club to sing at my 29th birthday and now I will forever link this time of year with those songs and the happy memories!

Whitney Houston – I wanna dance with somebody

Do I need to give an explanation with this one? IT’S JUST SUCH A TUNE!

Daryl Hall & John Oats – You Make My Dreams

This song is so happy and bouncy and it instantly puts me in a great mood!

Three Little Birds – Bob Marley

This is my ultimate spring/summer song! I love sitting out in the garden on a beautiful clear day with this blaring and a book in my hand.

Charlotte added…

One Direction – Olivia

A classic (in my opinion) upbeat bop that always features in my feel-good playlists. I have so many happy memories attached to the album this featured on!

The 1975- The Sound

Every time I see The 1975 live it solidifies how infectious and ‘sing-along-able’ so many of their songs are, and The Sound epitomises that.

Ariana Grande – Successful

There’s really nothing not to love about Ariana, and Successful is my go-to whenever I need a confidence boost or hype up before a big day or night out.

Lareese added…

Mariah Carey – Always Be My Baby

This song just makes me wanna bop as soon as it comes on. It reminds me of my mum – she’d always have old school Mariah on when she was ironing away and now I do the same.

Love On Top – Beyonce

It never fails to make me move my body uncontrollably.

Michelle Branch – Everywhere

This just reminds me of being young and carefree in the 00s!

Holly added…

Gabrielle Aplin – Miss You

It never fails to instantly brighten my mood. I honestly feel like skipping when it comes on.

Years and Years – Eyes Shut

Years and Years performed at one of my first Pride events ever and it reminds me of my happiest time of the whole year. I happy cry every time this song comes on.

Whitney Houston – How will I know

Just an absolute bop really isn’t it.

Darcey added…

Drake – Passionfruit

This song reminds me SO MUCH of summer and I instantly feel happy when I hear it. I can literally envisage myself sitting at a bar along the seafront, Pimm’s in hand and the sunshine beaming.

Khalid, Swaa Lee – The Ways

This song has been an all-time fave for a while, it’s just so chilled and uplifting. Also, it’s Khalid so how can you not like…

LeAnn Rimes – Can’t Fight The Moonlight

Coyote Ugly is an ultimate feel-good film and this song is just SO good!

Childish Gambino – Feels Like Summer

As the title says, this song makes you feel like it’s summer, and that always will put a spring in my step.

Lauren added…

Marina – About Love

Kinda obsessed with this tune at the moment, it’s feel-good pop with heartfelt lyrics, and the beat always gets me dancing on the way to work!

Harry Styles – Sunflower Vol. 6

I love the drums in this song from Hazza, it’s so upbeat and makes me feel happy every time I hear it, it’s the definition of ‘BOP’.

David Bowie – Golden Years

This is a classic in my eyes, the finger clicks and groovy sounds just make for easy listening and thinking about all the garden parties and beach BBQs to come!

Find the Spotify playlist here.

What songs put a ‘spring’ in your step?

TEAM ZOELLA FEBRUARY 27, 2020

We Tried: In-Store Makeovers

So you've got this date in the diary, maybe it's a 30th birthday party, a hen do, a wedding - you know the drill. Since it's a special occasion, you book yourself in for a fancy schmancy makeover. Great. Fantastic. Can't wait.

If only life were that simple. Suddenly you’re overcome with… the fear. It creeps up on you like an impending smear test or the feeling that you’ve forgotten to hand your coursework in 10 years too late.

What if she can’t do me like I do me? What if she can’t paint my tiny lips like I can, or handle my brows like I can?

It’s the same inner monologue that plays out when we commit to a hair appointment. Suddenly our hair looks f*cking great. Never have our locks looked quite as superior than in that moment between writing it in the calendar and slipping into that cape. You know the one we never know whether to navigate like a coat or a sweater. In our experience, it’s nearly always like a coat.

Makeovers are cut from the same cloth, which is why we thought we’d trial them out so you don’t have to. We hit up eight of the best beauty brands on the high street to see what each of their in-store makeovers had to offer IRL. One brief. Eight brands. Eight very different experiences. This is what happened…

Holly – Mac

I remember the first time I ever got ‘proper’ makeup was from MAC and honestly I have been a huge fan ever since then so I jumped at the chance to go there for a makeover and they did not disappoint.

Details: 60 minutes, £60 to spend on any product (There for 90 mins)

Experience

I was that nightmare customer at first because I had to rearrange my first appointment, was 10 minutes late to the new appointment and needed to extend the session. But the customer service team and people in store were so helpful. The store was clean and everyone was very friendly and I felt so at ease instantly. Conversation flowed easily with the person doing my makeup and it was really enjoyable. She explained everything she was using on my face and asked my preferences, from coverage to colour and the type of brushes she was using. She also wrote it all down on a handy piece of paper for me to take away and consider what I might like to buy, with absolutely no pressure to purchase anything on the day.

Makeup

I think because I gave a very vague brief (going out makeup) It gave the makeup artist quite a lot of legroom. I loved the makeup that was on my face and I am honestly tempted to go back there before my next big night out. I would probably have opted for a slightly less coverage foundation as it gathered in my wrinkles a bit and that is a pet peeve of mine but after 6 solid hours and a netball match and my skin still looking immaculate, I think I could put up with the coverage for my face to be that fresh 24/7. She made my eyebrows fluffy, no mean feat when I have zero eyebrow hair and the eyelashes she used looked very natural. I was a big fan!

Value

I already by my lipsticks and foundation from MAC so I think it’s great value, especially if you need to stock up on a few products anyway. They also teach you a lot so I felt like I really got something for my money and have already started applying some of the techniques she showed me in life. Thanks, MAC, you’ll be seeing me again soon!

Lareese – YSL

So, I get the brand that gave us Touche Eclat and the Blur Primer of dreams and I’m not mad about it. I’ve only ever had a makeover at MAC before, so I was intrigued to see how a department store compared with a stand-alone store experience.

Details: FREE, no obligation to buy product. Approx 40 minutes

Experience

The makeup artist was really lovely and chatty and her makeup was immaculate, which is usually a good sign. I immediately felt safe in her hands and she made me feel comfortable, despite the fact that I was about to be sat in Boots bare-faced with my angry hormonal chin out.

We chatted about what look I wanted to achieve and I said I’d like a ‘soft glam’ look with a smokey eye, preferably using warm brown tones. She nods and grabs two taupe eye shadows and one with a gold shimmer, seemingly understanding the brief and sets to work taking my light everyday makeup off ready to begin the makeover. That detail is important because I feel it sets the tone for how I usually like my makeup. Ahem. At this point, my discomfort was around the 4/10 mark but that was purely down to the Westlife-Esque stool all 5ft 8 of me was attempting to sit on, nothing to do with the makeup. She’s lovely. I’m about to get my face tickled for 40 minutes. I get to call this work. Happy days.

Makeup

She asked me all the right questions about what kind of finish I like etc to which my answer is always the same: dewy and glowy. I like my skin to look like skin – inject a bit of life into it. Please make me feel fresh out the womb again.

In between a few conversations about life and what products I like to use, the rest of the makeover sort of just unfolds around me. I had no idea what direction the look was going in, no reflective surfaces to catch a glimpse of myself before the big reveal. For the purpose of this review, I actually liked the fact that I had no idea what the end result was going to be. Give me all the impact!

But now I have the mirror in my hand – my discomfort’s at a solid 10/10 and this time it has everything to do with the makeup. Savage I know! I’m sorry. At least I’ve learned to tolerate the stool by now, that’s progress.

I usually like my makeup to look quite light and natural, even on a night out, so this was a lot heavier than I’m used to. The eyeshadow was darker and cooler than I expected since I requested a warm brown smokey eye. Gulp. I could see my contour in my peripheral vision and I also had a red lip up to my nose… how do I handle this tactfully? I sheepishly asked her if she’s happy to swap the red lip for a nude just to tone down the look a little which she was happy to do. Overall, I think if you’re into full coverage, hella glam, last-all-night kinda makeup, then you’d be in good hands here. Unfortunately, it just missed the mark for me and my penchant for barely-there slap.

Value

Despite the obvious, I do think getting a full face of makeup for FREE is exceedingly good bang for your buck. If you need to feel fancy for an evening or simply want to branch out with new products and don’t know where to start, this is a great budget-friendly way to experiment!

Danielle – Bobbi Brown


I’m not sure what I was expecting from an in store makeover, especially one from Bobbi Brown as I usually wear quite a lot of high coverage makeup and BB are known for a much simpler more natural face.

Details: 60 minutes booked in, £40 to use against any product

Experience

For my makeover I booked in for 60 minutes “glam” and when I sat down she asked what kind of thing I wanted to go for. I had great fun in store and got on really well with the makeup artist who did my makeover, I could tell she was good at her job and I was not worried about her skill set at any point. I didn’t think that there was going to be a full-blown tutorial on what was taking place but there was absolutely no chat around what she was doing at any point or if she had any advice for how she thinks certain products should be applied to my face. I was most surprised at the lack of education on products as she didn’t really try to ‘sell’ me anything which is good because everyone hates being sold to, but I was left scratching my head not knowing what to buy after. I ended up just going for a basic powder as this was something I ‘needed’ instead of getting something we had talked about during the makeover.

Makeup

Although it was quite light, I loved the makeup that was done for me at BB, the skin looked great, there weren’t any harsh lines and the eye makeup was gorgeous. However, if you are looking for high coverage Kimmy K contour full-face makeup, Bobbi Brown is not the brand for you! I could imagine a lot of people veering towards BB for wedding makeup as it natural and gorgeous.

Value

I think if you are going into Bobbi Brown to buy something you know you need you might as well book in for a makeover as you do get a full face, but other than that I’m not sure it was worth £40 and as there isn’t really an education element it’s harder to justify the spend.

Zoe – bareMinerals

I actually couldn’t tell you the last time I went and had my makeup done at a beauty counter and if I’m honest, totally forgot that most/if not all makeup and beauty counters offer some sort of makeup application that you can book in or just sit down during a spot of shopping. It’s such a fantastic way of seeing which products suit you the most and to get an overall feel for the brands without just grabbing something and taking it home only to be confused as to how it’s used and discover it’s not the correct shade. I opted for a Bare Minerals makeover as I already knew I loved the brand and a fair amount of their products are already in my makeup bag, so it was more just to see how they would use them and if I could find something new I hadn’t tried before.

Details: Bare Minerals offer a full face of makeup lasting around 45-60 minutes with a £50 minimum spend on product which is probably a bit more suited to someone who is looking to revamp their makeup bag or are already fans of bare minerals but want to discover new items or stock up on their favourites.

Experience

I had the lovely Jasmine do my makeover but all three girls in the Brighton store were helpful and friendly. The store itself is clean, well thought out and easy to navigate too. Jasmine started by cleaning my face using skin care products which I thought was a lovely touch. I wasn’t expecting a mini facial before the makeover began but it was relaxing and I loved learning a bit more about the skincare products the brand sells. Once my face was prepped, Jasmine asked me what sort of makeup I was going for, and as the team brief was “glam” I told her the more the merrier! Jasmine made sure I felt comfortable with all the makeup choices, asking me if usually wore blush, checking I was happy with the amounts of things and the colours of product and was very careful not to make me feel out of my comfort zone makeup-wise which I really appreciated. She also explained each product in detail and was brimming with Bare Minerals knowledge which just made me love her and the brand even more than I already did.

Makeup

The makeup was great, I loved it! I particularly liked the skin, I already use the original mineral foundation, but her application was brilliant. I also loved the colours she used for the eyeshadow and her technique was very professional. I was ready to hit the town afterwards! (Who am I kidding? Haha)

Value

I think £50 spent on products after a full makeover is great value! Although some counters offer a free service with no obligation to spend, I do think the girls in Bare Minerals go above and beyond to give you the best experience and actually teach you how to use the products so I can’t imagine you’d ever want to walk out without a completely fresh makeup bag anyway! I’d definitely go back and would recommend!

Darcey – Fenty

I had never had an in-store makeover before, but I was particularly excited to be having my first by Fenty Beauty as it’s a brand I have loved for a while now. I was slightly apprehensive that I might not like how they do my makeup, mainly because I’ve always done my own and know how I like to do it.

Details: 60 minutes booked in, free of charge with no obligation

Experience

I had booked in the week prior, and the girl who pencilled in my appointment let me know that she would be doing my makeup. She asked me a few questions beforehand and jotted them down. When I arrived the following week for my appointment, she greeted me at the Fenty Beauty stand and went back over what I was wanting from the makeover. She asked me lots of questions, which was great as she really got a feel for what I wanted.

I went for a ‘night-out, soft-glam look’ with a brown smokey eye and a bronzed glow. My MUA was super chatty throughout and friendly, she made me feel really comfortable the whole time which was really great. She did every part of my face step-by-step, showing me what she was using and why. She started with my brows first, and after she was finished got me to look in a mirror to make sure I liked the way she did them (they looked great btw).

She repeated this process throughout the makeover with every product she used, she even asked me if I would prefer a mousse or powder bronzer! Little details like this made the experience feel even more personalised. She showed me a lot of their products, explaining why she liked them and why she thought they would work well with me. However, at no point did I feel any type of pressure to buy any product, she actually said to me she thinks makeovers are a great way to trial different products and so you can see how they sit on your face over a prolonged period of time (aka, going on a night-out for me). Altogether, I had an amazing experience with Fenty Beauty, the staff were so nice and they really listened to what I liked!

Makeup

I think she smashed it with the makeup, I loved every part of it! Even the brows, which I was most nervous about, but I’m going to be taking her technique forward, as she did them better than I do! She did exactly what I asked, it really was a soft-glam, brown smokey eye look, with a good amount of bronzer.

Value

Amazing value! It’s FREE, you don’t have to buy any products and they do such an amazing job! You could tell all the girls working there really love their job and the makeup. It’s great value if you are wanting a night-out look or even just wanting to trial some products!

Maddie – Spack NK

I’m not particularly brand loyal when it comes to makeup and let’s face it, you can’t go too far wrong with Space NK when it comes to anything across the beauty category so I thought it would be the perfect choice for me.

Details: 20mins makeup refresh appointment, free of charge

Experience

I’m not particularly brand loyal when it comes to makeup and let’s face it, you can’t go too far wrong with Space NK when it comes to anything across the beauty category so I thought it would be the perfect choice for me. It also helped that it was completely free of cost and only 20 minutes so if you’re time poor (like me) it’s a great option.

I came out of a blustery, very wet outside looking incredibly dishevelled, hair all over the place, you get the picture but I was instantly made to feel completely comfortable and at ease surrounded by all the gorgeous brands that stock the shelves. I was offered a drink by the lovely MUA and took my seat next to the Nars counter. Nars is known for their beautiful, extremely wearable makeup and I’ve always been a big fan so I was excited to try some of their new collection. Their new Afterglow eyeshadow palette caught my eye instantly, I have the mini Wanted palette already and this just looks like it’s slightly sexier cousin. I think the lady must have caught me eyeing up the palette and asked if I wanted to try it, UM YAH.

Makeup

She layered up a mix of shadows and liners, showing me at every stage how you can build it up to make a more dramatic glam look. The palette has a couple of pink shades which is a colour I’d usually avoid, one really bright electric pink and a softer pastel which she used to blend the more coppery shades to make a really lovely warm smokey eye. She matched a blusher and a light pink tinted lip balm to tie the whole look together.

At no point did I feel super up-sold to or that I had to buy anything at the end, in fact she encouraged me to go home and play with what I’ve already got to achieve similar results which I thought was really great. I personally hate feeling pressured into any decision, especially as high-end makeup has got a punchy price tag these days. It was the right track to take with me as she just let the products speak for themselves and I left feeling great, with zero guilt and a huge desire to purchase everything.

Value

I really love the finished look and it really took all of 20 minutes to go from my everyday neutrals to pretty in pink. For £0 I think it’s an incredible service, you get to try before you buy which is perfect when you’re investing in premium products.

Lauren – Kiko

I didn’t know KIKO offered in-store makeovers so was intrigued to try as they’re cruelty-free and have quite a few vegan options too, plus they’ve got such a wide range of products from natural to vibrant that I was ready for any sort of look!

Details: 45 mins – 1hr booked in, £20 to use against any product

Experience

I was greeted by Stella who was so lovely and friendly throughout the process. She asked me what the occasion was, and I said a glam Valentine’s dinner look that needed to last until late (it was 1pm at this point) so I could really get a chance to wear the full shebang. She asked me a lot of questions about what base I would like, finish, eye-look, lip colour, so I felt confident that I’d be happy with the result even with her creative license, and the came back with a huge range of products that were all vegan too which I’d specified on booking so felt really happy that everything I was wearing was vegan-friendly.

Stella chatted to me throughout the session but also focused on making sure the look was a high standard, and she kept checking in with me that I was happy and made changes during the application (I was originally going to wear a red lip but it felt too much with the brown eye so she switched this out for me). She talked me through the products as she went along and at the end was happy to help me pick out the £20 worth of products that I thought I’d get the most use out of. All in all, it was a great experience from start to finish!

Makeup

The finished look was pretty spot on to what I was hoping for, but actually I was surprised HOW good it was! The eyes were incredible, and my brows were bigger than I could ever imagine growing them so I felt very fancy and ‘done’ compared to my usual self. Obviously it’s a lot of makeup and the contour lines on my cheeks and forehead were quite heavy, but if I was going for a big night out or event, I’d definitely go back as I was so impressed with the result.

Value

As KIKO is so affordable anyway, it’s worth booking in for the makeover as £20 gets you quite a bit of product, plus you’ll be able to see it in action so know whether it works for you. I’ll definitely be going back and would recommend everyone else tries KIKO too!

Charlotte – Chanel

Getting my makeup done by someone else is up there with a massage or facial in treating myself to something really special. I’ve never tried any Chanel beauty products before so prior to the appointment, the experience felt like it would be a really luxurious/special one!

Details: 1hr booked in, £45 to use against any product

Experience

The experience itself was very comfortable and I felt in control of the direction of the look throughout. I outlined that I wanted to try new products to get me out of the rut of using the same things day in and day out, and explained that I wanted a ‘night out’ look appropriate for evening drinks. The lady who did my makeup was extremely knowledgeable about the products used and as she applied each she explained the benefits of each item and how it would help improve the longevity of the look- something I’d highlighted as important as my appointment was at lunchtime and needed to last until the evening.

Makeup

There were aspects of the look such as the brows and glowy base that I think worked really well and would definitely encourage me to incorporate Chanel products into my routine. The base was probably my favourite part- the foundation was well matched and although the coverage was lighter than I’m used to, I think the products used created a really natural but perfected look. I’m not sure whether it was the skincare/primer used or the foundation itself but the base did feel quite sticky even after powdering- a minor observation in the grand scheme of things but one that made me feel the base could have moved/worn more if the weather was warmer or I’d had a stressful day ahead.

Overall the one thing that I didn’t love was the eyeliner flick, but that’s definitely just because I do a flick every day myself and like it to follow the natural shape of my eye. The highlighter was gorgeous and I purchased this following the makeover as it was a lovely balance of adding noticeable glow whilst still maintaining a natural finish.

Value

Given the long list of products that were used on me, I would definitely recommend the experience if you’re looking to try new products as nothing was off the table and the MUA was more than happy for you to ask questions and create a look that was very personal to you. Given that Chanel is a high-end brand with products on the luxurious end of the price scale, I think £45 is a fair price given the total cost of a full face look!

What makeover would you love to try?

EMMA GANNON FEBRUARY 26, 2020

Time For A Career Change? There Are So Many Clues In Our Childhood By Emma Gannon

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is such a weird thing to ask a kid. Us adults should know better, especially because we can often find it an awkward question to answer ourselves.

If you ask any grandparent or someone older than you, I’m sure most would still shrug their shoulders and chuckle: “I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!” Perhaps it is only a light, nosy question, like discussing the rainy weather, but sometimes it can feel too heavy.

No one wants to predict their future on the spotEmma Gannon

No one wants to predict their future on the spot; no one wants to be asked where they see themselves in five years time. Definitely not when you’re a kid.

I have memories of being around 10 years old and a teacher asking me this question. What do you want to be? I would just clam up, feel stupid, and just blurt out something random like “er.. I dunno, a vet?” and run out into the playground. The thing is, at a young age, we actually do start having a strong sense of what we enjoy or feel good at, but it’s not as simple as turning it into a job description. It’s just a lot more subtle, bubbling away under the surface, and takes quieter focused moments to notice our skills and interests. We have to look for the clues. Some teachers are fantastic are noticing even the smallest of clues. The teachers who notice the small meaningful moments of achievement, not just the big loud trophy cabinet ones.

If we look back to the things we were attracted to at school, maybe we can remember what makes us feel alive in adulthood.Emma Gannon

According to research, many parts of our personality are already formed by the age of seven. As children we are in many ways our most free — we are creative, we are open-minded, we ask ‘why’ a lot. If we look back to the things we were attracted to at school, maybe we can remember what makes us feel alive in adulthood. Did you love pulling things apart and putting them back together again? Did you come alive in drama class? Did you like building things with your hands? Did you make collages? Were you obsessed with computers? Did you enjoy working by yourself? Were you happiest when leading a group task? In which lessons, with whom, at what part of the day were you thriving the most?

Elizabeth Gilbert (bestselling author of Eat Pray Love) recently said that her teachers at school were always telling her to shut up in class because she spoke too much, and now she literally talks on stage for a living. This makes me stop in my tracks because I too was told off for talking, even when it was actually someone else talking to me.

What’s wrong with having “too many” opinions? Emma Gannon

It reminded me of a teacher who I bumped into recently who told me I had “too many opinions” in her classes. She was laughing while saying it, a light-hearted joke perhaps, but it was a strange thing to pull up as a negative. What’s wrong with having “too many” opinions? Plus my job now is writer and columnist, where I am literally paid to have my own opinions.

Looking back, there were so many clues in my childhood leading towards what would be my later career. It wasn’t that I was always writing, but I do remember being happy whilst doing it, and getting good feedback. One vivid memory was with one of my babysitters Donna, who would draw a picture with some crayons, any old picture, and then she would task me with writing up a story that could go along with it. Once she drew a dragon inside a house and then I went away and scribbled four pages in my bad handwriting about an orphaned dragon who was trying to find a new family. I was encouraged to use my imagination. I was creating stories from an early age.

My task to you now, reading this, is to sit down with a pen and paper and remind yourself of all the things you loved to do as a kid. Emma Gannon

It makes me sad to think that so many of us lose touch with our creative childlike selves, or, in some cases, told by society to stop. Or to grow up. These clues that pop out loudly when we are younger can so often go ignored by teachers, parents and ourselves because life is busy and noisy. We are taught to follow the crowd, read the same-old career brochure and stick to the same old routes. But it doesn’t have to be that way. My task to you now, reading this, is to sit down with a pen and paper and remind yourself of all the things you loved to do as a kid. It might not be the case that you will get to ‘quit your job and follow your dreams’ — we all know things don’t happen that way overnight. But, even the act of reminding yourself of what you enjoy and what you are good at can lead to a new hobby or a new side hustle and therefore a new sense of fulfilment. It can lead us back to ourselves. It can remind us who we are again.

Find Emma on Instagram, Twitter and find lots more on her Website. You can also sign up to Emma’s wonderful newsletter The Hyphen here.

TEAM ZOELLA FEBRUARY 25, 2020

13 Questions With Kiley Reid

Kiley Reid's debut novel Such a Fun Age is the Zoella Book Club pick for February and she's here to tell us all about it!

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing since I was little but I didn’t take it seriously until I was in my early twenties. 

What was the process like for writing ‘Such a Fun Age’?

In the beginning, I would write Monday through Friday for three hours in the morning and another hour in the evening. But once I went to grad school and had more time and a bigger body of work, I would do eight hour days, especially in the final weeks of completion. 

What inspired you to write ‘Such a Fun Age’? 

I was very inspired by the feeling of working in someone else’s homeKiley Reid

I started with the goal of having a very awkward and charged relationships between three people. From there I focused on the nanny / mother / and child relationship, which I knew well from my time as a nanny. I was very inspired by the feeling of working in someone else’s home, especially while you don’t have a stable income and health care. 

What are you currently working on? 

I’m executive producing the film adaption of Such A Fun Age and when I’m not on book tour, I’m very slowly starting to write a second novel. 

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Being accepted into grad school was a game-changer as it was the first time I had time and space to really focus on writing. I was also excited to teach workshops which was a great experience. 

Tell us about some of your favourite authors and books!

I loved Donna Tartt’s The Little Friend and it has one of my favorite literary nannies in it. I also loved Z.Z. Packar’s collection Drinking Coffee elsewhere and The History Of Love by Nicole Kraus. 

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start writing?

Don’t turn to your phone. Kiley Reid

Set realistic goals. Not just “I want to write more.” Make lists and try your best to complete them. If you get stuck, just sit and think about it. Don’t turn to your phone. 

What is your biggest accomplishment in life?

That’s a hard one! Having the stamina to apply to graduate school two years in a row was very difficult and I’m glad I had the strength to do it despite rejections. 

What will you be reading, watching or listening to in 2020?

I’m excited to read Gish Jen’s newest book. I’ll also be watching a lot of television as it’s an election year. 

What advice would you give your younger self?

Apply to everything. Even if you don’t know how it would work out. Just apply and figure it out later. 

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

I know it’s not a real meal…popcorn. 

What do you always carry with you?

Glue. I love press-on nails and if one of them decides to pop off, I am ready. 

What are you most looking forward to in 2020? 

Touring has been wonderful and I’m looking forward to getting back on the road in March. I’m also excited to dive into novel number two. 

Are you reading Such a Fun Age for the Zoella Book Club?

TEAM ZOELLA FEBRUARY 24, 2020

Our Favourite Pancake Day Toppings

Please be upstanding for the BEST foodie holiday of the year. A whole day dedicated to eating and celebrating the brunch dish to end all brunches!

Please be upstanding for the BEST foodie holiday of the year. A whole day dedicated to eating and celebrating the brunch dish to end all brunches! A hall pass to eat sweet, spongy layers of beige for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We are of course talking about Pancake Day!

Be it a simple dusting of sugar and lemon, the whole maple syrup, fruit and whipped cream shebang or tier on tier of Nutella – we’ve all got our go-to pancake order but if you’re looking to switch up your usual toppings, today’s the day to experiment friends.

Looking for some inspo? Here are the toppings that get us buzzing to get out of bed on Pancake Day!

“I am a big fan of having bacon and maple syrup on my pancakes (I think with this combo you either love it or hate it), but I think it tastes so good! The savoury and sweet mix is a taste sensation. But if I’m feeling just sweet, I’ll always have Nutella and banana, that is another combo which in my eyes is the holy grail of pancake toppings.” Darcey

“I’m a straight-up sugar girl – you can’t mess with a classic like that. Sometimes I go wild and have lemon AND sugar. I just love to be able to actually taste the buttery pancakes in all their glory – if I try getting too adventurous with chocolate and cream and all that jazz, it all becomes a bit overwhelming. I do enjoy a maple and bacon situation with a stack of the thick bad boys though. That I can get on board with!” Lareese

“One word. Nutella. Can’t beat it. BUT If I’m feeling super jazzy (and extra French) the Bonne Maman Chataignes Vanillee spread is divine too.” Maddie

“My usual pancake topping go-to is Greek yoghurt, berries and honey with a dusting of icing sugar and some mint, especially in the more sunny months! During winter though, I often steer more towards something a bit more filling like Nutella or more recently a bit of biscoff spread with some banana. You can melt the biscoff spread in the microwave and pour it over the pancakes like a syrup! A little grating of chocolate on top is always good too!” Zoë

“I stick to the B’s when it comes to pancake toppings, give me biscoff, banana, bacon, blueberries! Top tip is to microwave your biscoff so it’s easier drizzle over the top.” Danielle

To be honest there are very few things I wouldn’t enjoy on top of a delicious fluffy pancake- sweet or savoury, I’m not fussy! If in doubt though you can’t beat a classic. Whipped cream and sprinkles make for both an Instagram friendly and tasty topping which I’ll be eating on pancake day and beyond!” Charlotte

“My eyes are bigger than my belly with pancakes, but when I do go for a stack I love a thick layer of vegan chocolate hazelnut spread topped with banana – it’s great on fluffy pancakes and I always have one too many but if you can’t go crazy on pancake day when can you?!” Lauren

I recently tried a savoury pancake for the first time and I don’t know what I’ve been doing with my life up until now. I urge you to try pancakes with Southern fried chicken!” Holly

What are you having on your pancakes?

TEAM ZOELLA FEBRUARY 23, 2020

Weekly Wants: Working From Home Outfits

The first rule of working from home: never stay in your pjs.

Break out of your bed threads and into something that motivates you to tackle that to-do list.

When you’re working from home, you want to be presentable enough for that Skype meeting but casual enough to sit cross-legged on the sofa, ya know?

While climbing into a suit and typing from the dining table might work for some people, others need fool-proof jeans and a soft knit to get sh*t done. Comfort is key!

It’s all about business up top, roomy waistbands down south.

Here are the pieces we’re eyeing up for our work-from-home wardrobe!

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*This post contains Ad – Affiliate Links

TEAM ZOELLA FEBRUARY 22, 2020

How To Be A Better Friend

Much like romantic relationships, friendships require effort and commitment in order for them to thrive.

Like the love fern in How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days, they need regular TLC. You can’t just leave them to fend for themselves. We have to continuously nourish them, honour their importance and give them the energy they deserve.

Work gets in the way, life happens.

We’re all guilty of letting the weeks pass us by without seeing our friends or scheduling in some quality time. Work gets in the way, life happens and before you know it, it’s been six months without the whiff of a glass of vino and a much-needed chinwag.

There’s bound to be periods in your life when you don’t have the time to fart let alone hang out with the girls but looking after those connections and having fulfilling conversations makes us feel seen, understood and appreciated.

And on that note, we’re dedicating this post to bettering our friendship skills. Here’s to being a bloody good pal and getting that well overdue catch up in the diary ASAP.

Don’t flake on plans

Double booked? That’s cool on the first occasion but cancel a fifth time and you’ll forever be known as that flaky friend.

Make plans, be reliable and show up

Make plans, be reliable and show up for others – physically and mentally.

Check-in on them

You don’t have to be geographically close to be emotionally present – a random text asking if they’re having a good week will let them know that regardless of how stacked you are in your own life, they’re still a priority.

Be a great listener

Listening is a h-a-r-d skill to master. If you can actively hear someone out without needing to chime in with your own stories, that’s when you’re really lending an ear. Basically, be a sounding board and know when to shut up every now and again.

Have fun and make new memories

Come through with them Oprah quotes whenever they’re needed but make space for the good times in your friendship too. Laughter lines are a sign of true friendship.

Champion their milestones

Celebrate their wins with them and make a fuss when life is going their way!

Even the smallest gesture can send a clear message that their happiness and success is important to you.

Whether it’s a promotion, a new baby or finally having the confidence to kick that f*ck boy to the curb, even the smallest gesture can send a clear message that their happiness and success is important to you. When they’re winning, you’re winning.

Practise the art of empathy

We all move through life stages at a different pace and while you might not always be on the same page or able to relate to their circumstances, you can certainly try to walk in their shoes for a minute.

Whether they’re single and you’re married or they’re trying to find their feet with motherhood while you’re nowhere near ready for babies, you can still find ways to understand their reality.

Accept that life just gets in the way sometimes

It’s not you and it’s not them – life runs away with all of us sometimes but as long as you’re both aware that it’s a just a phase and that you can pick things back up when things are a little less crazy, that’s all you need to know.

Know when you’re in the wrong

Having the humility to swallow your pride and admit you messed up makes you a top friend. You live and you learn!

Be loyal and trustworthy

With any interpersonal relationship, trust is a real deal-breaker. They need to know that they can confide in you with total confidence. You have their back and then some.

Speak from the heart

Honesty is one of the most significant friendship traits.

Everyone needs a straight-talking chum on speed dial.

Respect their boundaries but never be afraid to offer up some moral guidance if ever they lose perspective.

Accept them for who they are

A good friend is someone who encourages you to be your true authentic self without fear of judgement. They’ll love you despite your shortcomings, weaknesses and wrong moves.

What qualities do you look for in a friend?

TEAM ZOELLA FEBRUARY 21, 2020

PSA: These Are The Best Makeup Removers We’ve Ever Tried

When it comes to taking your face off, you want a formula that works hard with minimal faff, right? No one wants a soggy dressing gown sleeve.

If it requires rubbing, scrubbing or excessive tugging you can count us out! Our eyelids are thin and delicate facial canopies, prone to damage. We want to keep them happy and perky for as long as possible, thank you please. Protect that eyeball awning at all costs.

Find out which ones will make your stubborn mascara and contour quake in their boots.

Balms, oils, cult jellies and fragrance-free micellar water – we’ve tried and tested a whole bunch of them to find out which ones will make your stubborn mascara and contour quake in their boots.

Check out the makeup removers that made the cut!

Lareese’s Favourites

I’ve got insanely weepy eyes – so much so, the slightest gust of wind, air-con or a soppy advert will rub them up the wrong way.

I’ve been using the *Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water for years now. Its gentle, fragrance-free formula is not only soothing and hydrating on the eye area but also effective for lifting stubborn mascara. It’s a great, budget-friendly all-purpose cleanser that’s particularly good for sensitive souls like me. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

For a more luxurious cleansing ritual, I go in with the *Elemis Cleansing Balm and hot cloth. It’s like a spa in a tub! I still remove my eye makeup with the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water first and then I use this beauty icon to give the rest of my skin a jolly good clean.

Believe the hype – this one’s a keeper!Lareese

The nourishing balm formula dissolves every trace of makeup and grime without stripping the skin. Believe the hype – this one’s a keeper!

Zoe’s Favourites

When it comes to makeup remover, I generally tend to gravitate towards a cream, an oil or a balm!

I then make sure to do a second cleanse so my skin gets the ultimate clean.Zoe

I have three from each of these categories that I use religiously, on a dry face followed by a warm damp flannel. I then make sure to do a second cleanse so my skin gets the ultimate clean as well as just the removal of makeup.

*Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish – This cream cleanser is my absolute holy grail in terms of skincare. I’ve used for years and years and I would never stray away from it. It removes every bit of my makeup in a couple of motions and is so gently on my skin at the same time.

*Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm – This balm is packed full of essential oils and smells heavenly. It’s such a lovely and super-efficient way of removing makeup whilst conditioning, cleansing and helping to replenish your cells’ reservoirs. A jar of this will last you a long time, so although it’s a little more pricey, it’s 100% worth it! 

*Keihls cleansing oil – I actually became aware of this product when a friend left it at my house and I used it thinking it was something else. It’s so silky and beautiful to use. Enriched with squalane, evening primrose oil and lavender essential oil, this do-it-all formula effectively removes make-up while leaving skin feeling soft and ready for your night time products! 

Maddie’s Favourites

I have quite sensitive skin so I try and use products that are going to be as gentle as possible, especially when removing long-wear makeup where you can get a little overzealous if you’re not careful.

To remove the bulk of my makeup I’ll start by using a simple micellar water, I love the *La Roche Posay or *Bioderma which are both formulated for sensitive skin.

I’ll then do a second cleanse with my *bareMinerals Oil cleanser, it’s amazing at taking away every last bit of dirt and you can rinse it away with warm water rather than using a towel so it’s again really gentle on my skin.

Darcey’s Favourites

My go-to everyday make-up remover is the *Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. This is a great make-up remover, especially removing mascara and more stubborn makeup!

I love how clean and oil-free it makes my skin feel.Darcey

It’s also good for using before cleansing, even if I’m not wearing makeup, but I love how clean and oil-free it makes my skin feel. I find that it’s so gentle on my skin and doesn’t irritate it like makeup wipes can.

If I’ve been wearing a full face of makeup, I’ll go in first with the *Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. This product literally melts away your makeup, I then use a cloth or one of my reusable makeup pads and some warm water to wash it all off my face. Then I’ll go in with the micellar water to remove any remaining makeup.

After removing my makeup I always use *The Ordinary Squalene Cleanser, as it’s great to do a second cleanse when wearing makeup to get it all out of your pores!

Charlotte’s Favourites

I’m a double cleanse gal through and through which means my routine can sometimes be a bit spenny! Having previously had acne though I’m taking no chances in relying on my skin to look good without the effort of a tip-top routine.

I start by removing the bulk of my makeup with the *Garnier Micellar Water on some reusable cotton pads (a dream both for the environment and your bank balance!).

I then trot off to the bathroom and apply a couple of pumps of the *Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser to dry skin and massage into the face until I feel satisfied with my at-home facial efforts. I grab a damp, hot flannel and wipe away the last dregs of makeup, pollution and grubbiness from the day and finish my routine feeling as fresh as a daisy.

*The Botanics Hot Cloth Cleanser from Boots is also a firm fave of mine for a really thorough end of day cleanse. It reminds me of a cross between the Clinique Take The Day Off Balm and the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel which are both on the pricier side making this drugstore find a winner in my eyes!

Lauren Favourites

I love taking my makeup off, heck I love a cleanse when it’s a no-makeup day too, and I’m a big advocate for the double cleanse.

Makeup removal is a dream.Lauren

I’ve used both of Pai’s cleansers for the past year and they make my skin so soft and clean that makeup removal is a dream.

*The Light Works Oil contains Rosehip and is really nourishing but breaks down all the products to get every scrap of makeup off in one swipe. I use about 2-3 pumps and I find this gets everything including waterproof mascara off with ease, no irritation insight (pun intended).

I then use the *Pai Camellia and Rose Gentle Cleanser to properly wash and balance my skin, and it’s so creamy that it practically melts into the skin without leaving residue. You can feel and see how fresh and clean your skin is after, and it always feels calm post scrubbing too!

Holly’s Favourites

In the past, I have been guilty of using makeup wipes but you really can feel the difference when using a cleanser rather than a wipe. If I’m feeling good I’ll use the *Glow Recipe Blueberry bounce gentle cleanser.

It’s super refreshing and doesn’t damage my eyes.Holly

I have such sensitive eyes that I’ll get a tiny bit of fragrance in them I can’t see for about 20 minutes. So the Blueberry Bounce is perfect. It’s super refreshing and doesn’t damage my eyes.

Then if I’m feeling extra fancy, I’ll double cleanse using the *Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser. It is an absolute DELIGHT to behold and makeup literally melts off. I make sure I use a fresh flannel every night because I’m terrified of break out and switching my routine and fingers crossed we’re doing well so far!

Danielle’s Favourite’s

I recently invested in the *Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser and I have to say it’s flipping wonderful. Definitely the perfect pick if you wear a lot of high coverage makeup as this absolutely melts it away. At a price of £29 it’s definitely at the top of my budget but my god is it a joy a to use.

*Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser is my favourite cleanser for so many reasons, I apply to a dry face and rub it into the areas that need the makeup melting off – usually eyes – you can literally rub this straight into your eyeballs and feel no stinging sensation whatsoever.

Have I spoken about this cleanser a million times before? Yes. Am I going to blast on about how good it is again? Absolutely!Danielle

I believe this is because one of the ingredients is contact lens solution but don’t quote me on that. Basically this cleanser can pretty much get rid of any makeup on your face as long as your work it in properly. It doesn’t have a really strong scent (which is great for skincare) and it leaves my skin feeling super soft, clean and not tight.

I also love this *Beauty Pie Japanfusion cleanser, which again goes best on to dry skin, then I add water which turns the formula into more of a milky consistency. I find the oily formula perfect for breaking down stubborn make-up and leaving my skin feeling lovely and not stripped of all its moisture.

*This post contains ad – affiliate links.

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What’s your favourite product to take your makeup with?

TEAM ZOELLA FEBRUARY 20, 2020

Best Pancakes in Brighton & Hove

In honour of the Shrove Tuesday tradition, we took ourselves off on a tour of Brighton's finest pancake joints to unearth the meanest stacks this city has to offer.

We masticated our way through cloud-like layers of buttermilk dough, inhaling big fluffy ones, fruity ones and chicken ones and then we took a long hard look at ourselves and our maple syrup bearing beards in the mirror. Never have we loved our reflection more than in that intimate moment of piggishness.

If like us, you like your eggs folded into a bed of batter in the morning, you’re in the right place. Forget whipping up your own P-Cakes, celebrate the tastiest holiday of the year by digging into the brunch of champions at one of these treasured establishments. Enjoy!

The Breakfast Club

These guys know how to whip up a 10/10 breakfast – clue is in the name. Want something a little more out there than your trad lemon and sugar combo? Their Ringer Stinger is the stack for you.

Our order: Pancake & Berries, Ringer Stinger

The Breakfast Club is celebrating pancake day with a ‘Pub Pancake Specials’ from the 24th February to the 1st March featuring; Ham egg and chips pancakes, Lemon Meringue Mess pancakes, deep-fried cornflake ice-cream and more!

“The Breakfast Club was one of the first places I discovered my love of fluffy pancakes. They’re light as air and the whipped vanilla cream and the berries with the warm compote is the perfect combination. Although they are VERY filling and I’m yet to fully finish one” – Zoe

Find it: 16-17 Market St, Brighton, BN1 1HH

Jo & Co

Anywhere with a five stack offering on the menu is getting a big fat flippin’ yes from us. Jo & Co buttermilk pancakes come loaded with Greek yoghurt (or vanilla ice cream, the choice is yours) and festooned with fresh berries, so there’s zero chance of going home hungry round here.

Our order: Buttermilk pancakes.

Jo & Co are going all out for pancake day with a special menu featuring the most delicious selection of Buttermilk pancakes with the following toppings; Nutella, banana, hazelnuts and Sussex ice-cream company vanilla ice cream. Coconut yogurt, apple & cinnamon compote. Brighton Sausage company smoked streaky bacon, maple syrup, Sussex ice-cream company maple and pecan ice-cream. Smoked salmon, dill, creme fraiche and capers

“Jo & Co is a new one on my favourites list! We went a few months back and the pancakes were so delicious I find myself thinking about them on the regular. With a lovely setting and even more lovely owners, it’s the perfect spot for brunch (and absolutely divine pancakes)”Zoe

Find it: 115 Church Road, Hove, BN3 2AF

Six

Six is one of Brighton’s Insta-famous eateries and it certainly hits the sweet spot for its classy interiors and homemade plant-based pancakes.

Pick from Nutella and banana, berry compote, fresh berries, maple syrup, chantilly cream and seeds, or go classic with maple syrup and crispy bacon. Brunch with the girls just got even batter!

Our order: Fresh organic banana & Nutella pancakes

“We love going to Six when we’re in Hove, it’s such a vibrant place to go for brunch and the menu is great. Their pancakes are delicious, especially if you love a classic banana and Nutella (don’t we all). They also do a bottomless brunch which is a bit of a hit with a lot of my friends!” – Zoe

Find it: 102 Western Road, Hove, BN3 1FA

The New Club

Hailed one of the best brunch spots in the country, The New Club already had our attention long before we face-planted their pancakes. A mash-up of LA style, NYC grub, beats, beards and tats, this place oozes urban cool. Tuck into their delicious caramelised banana pancakes complete with hazelnut crumb and soak up the impressive view of Brighton’s iconic West Pier.

Our order: Caramelised banana and streaky smoked bacon pancakes with a bloody mary!

“We eat at The New Club A LOT. They do the best roasts and the best breakfasts too, so you could say they just completely nail all food. The caramelised banana pancakes are an absolute must if you visit on the weekends and the tall ceilings and open, spacious vibe with a view of the sea is the best setting for any meal.”Zoe

Find it: 132-133 Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 2HH

Nowhere Man

If you like your P Cakes with a side serving of great music, house plants and eclectic decor, take yourself off the beaten track to this delightfully retro-chic hideaway. Relax in the laid-back 70s inspired living room-cum-café and deliberate over one of their many toppings. Unpretentious pancakes are their superpower!

Our order: Banana filled pancakes with chocolate and maple syrup butter

“Nowhere man has so much choice for pancakes there will definitely be something for everyone in your group! There’s a really cool retro vibe in here and it’s a much more casual dining experience. I love the banana and chocolate pancakes the best– Zoe

Find it: 53 Upper North Street, Brighton, BN1 3FH

Starfish & Coffee

The Starfish & Coffee pancakes are the stuff of legend. They boast an impressive circumference, delicate doughy innards and generous toppings – well worth marching up to the top of the whopping great hill to reach them.

Our order: Fruit pancakes

“This is a new find on the list of pancakes and it’s a bloody good’un. The dusting of cinnamon really adds something and the pancakes themselves are so fluffy and such a generous size! I also love the cafe itself as its super light and airy and situated right next to Queens Park for a post-pancake stroll”Zoe

Find it: 32 Egremont Pl, Brighton, BN2 0GA

Moksha

These guys know how to pull out all the stops when it comes to their pancakes. Expect deliciously fluffy American style cakes accompanied with your choice of banana and toffee sauce, blueberry and maple syrup or free-range bacon. Shrove Tuesday – completed it mate.

Our order: Vegan and gluten-free pancakes

Moksha is such a good place to go for brunch with so many options! Their pancakes have blueberries IN THEM and they also offer a vegan and gluten free option!” – Zoe

Find it: 4-5 York Pl, Brighton, BN1 4GU

Trading Post

Best known for their artisan coffee roasted on-site, Trading Post sure know how to handle their dough too. Complement your cup of Joe with their sweet ‘n’ savoury smoked back bacon pancakes. They’re wickedly tasty!

Our order: Smoked back bacon pancakes

“Another regular spot for me and my friends, we love Trading Post! It’s super spacious set on two floors and the menu is full of gems. The perfect place to meet friends on the weekend, drink all the coffee and have all the cosy chats” – Zoe

Find it: 36 Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1AB

The Ivy

Located in a snazzy grade II listed old post office, The Ivy is all about the opulence. Big windows, parquet flooring, rich jewel-toned seating and a Gatsby-esque art deco onyx bar, it’s a maximalist’s dream.

Their traditional pancakes come perfectly presented, garnished with juicy berries and drizzled in warm strawberry sauce. HOT DAYUM. If you’re in the market for a sophisticated stack, The Ivy’s your answer.

Our order: Hot buttermilk pancakes with fruit

“It’s impossible for me to tell you which of these pancakes is my favourite because that would be like asking me to choose between Nala and Alfie. They’re all just SO GOOD. However, I will definitely say these are in my top 3 because they’re such a good size and don’t feel as filling. The warm compote is heavenly!” – Zoe

Find it: 51A Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1AF

Café Coho

Another one of Brighton’s proudly indie cafes serving up some of the finest pancakes in town, every day of the week. With three locations around the city, you’ll never be far away from one of their phenomenal stacks.

Our order: Greek yoghurt pancakes

Cafe Coho is such a warm and inviting place. They do some epic breakfast options and their pancakes are next level! I love eating in here– Zoe

Find it: 53 Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1AF

Click the picture below for our handy google map featuring all the best pancake places in Brighton for you to follow.

Have you visited any of these pancake spots? Which one’s your favourite?

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