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Friday, 28 April 2017

The Way To My Heart... - Zeena Xena

The Way To My Heart... - Zeena Xena
Friday, 28 April 2017
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Broccoli Pizza & Pasta Covent Garden Review... 



Is by feeding me with pizza and lots of pasta haha...

I think it's about time I included food reviews back on Zeena Xena what do you think guys? It's been a while and you know I'm a foodie at heart so it gives me pleasure to talk about another passion of mines on the blog. 

I visited Broccoli Pizza and Pasta in Covent Garden with a friend as we were doing some holiday brainstorming, to say we had a feast was an understatement [lol]. Between us, we had garlic bread slices, 3 pastas, a greek salad and a pizza :O...




If you've never been to Broccoli before allow me to explain. The branch in Covent Garden is sort of like a subway for pizza and pasta. This place is a cool pit-stop for when you're rushed for time, however you can find some indoor seating if you wish to dine in. Food is prepared right in front of you, which I think is a really fun/interactive experience for customers. You're able to select what oil you want your food cooked in, vegetables you want included in your main and pasta of choice (if that's what you're going for)!




We started with the garlic bread slices,  ^ I opted for the seafood pasta as my main and boy oh boy. I haven't had seafood pasta in ages and this dish makes me ask the question WHY?! The past was bursting with flavour, had some spice (just the way I like it) and the prawns were really juicy. My mouth is watering just thinking about it :(


A visit to a Pizza and Pasta joint isn't the same without me ordering a pizza right? You guys know how I am haha. I never go for chicken pizzas as they're not really my thing, but I have to say this one was really good. I think the pastas are deffo my thing here to be fair, but to tell the truth I was gobbing down my pasta and slices of pizza at the same time! LOL! 

Other things on the menu include breakfast, soups, salads, and juices!

So if you're ever in Covent Garden and looking for some good grub to eat in or take out, head down to Broccoli Pizza & Pasta. Or order a delivery here You won't be disappointed :) 

Now, here are a few photos from my recent shoot with Paelo Saddler 





Outfit Details: 
Trousers - PrettyLittleThing
Slip ons - Primark 
Bag - LAMODA
Earrings - PrettyLittleThing 
Sunglasses - Primark
* Thanks to Broccoli for inviting me down, and please note that this post has affiliate links where I earn a small commission for all my hard work (if you make a purchase) 

Lots of love xx

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Skincare Edit - Zeena Xena

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Skincare Edit - Zeena Xena
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
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 Affordable Skincare // Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Range Review... 



If you follow me on twitter, you'd know how much I've been obsessing over my skin/skincare products so I wanted to bring you a super affordable edit in collaboration with Neutrogena. I've been trialling Neutrogena's Award-Winning Hydro Boost range - targeted at putting moisture back into skin that may be lost through lack of sleep, dehydration, the environment and many other factors. As we all know, hydration is the foundation for healthy skin and Neutrogena really do work hard to ensure that their products do just that - hydrate. 

Overall my skincare routine is pretty simple, despite being a trained facialist. I have a combination of dry and oily skin, where in the past have found it quite hard to combat the two textures at the same time. Neutrogena’s HydroBoost Water Gel Cleanser & Gel-Cream Moisturiser works in my favour though. The gel cleanser lathers away excess oils and makeup that’s in my skin, while the Water Gel Moisturiser puts it all back in. Speaking of makeup; If you’re looking for a makeup remover that offers a quick-fix, this is your go-to product. Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Gelée Milk Cleanser works wonders for removing makeup in the most efficient way whilst also hydrating. The no rinse formula makes it easy to remove makeup without having to wash your face especially after a long day out. For those of you that are short on time, this product is for you! 


When it comes to achieving the "perfect skin", I truly believe that it's about testing what you've done thorough research on, and figuring out whether the products are well suited to your skin or not. I've had people recommend so many things they swear by that just don't work for me and vice versa. It's all about testing the waters and changing your skincare routine every so often (something I need to do more of as I get too comfortable). 


The Hydro Boost Skincare Range (created with dermatologists), encourages us to rethink the way in which we hydrate our skin, through the use of products we use on a daily basis. As I mentioned earlier, my routine is very simple and also quite natural consisting of loads of coconut oil/rose water on a daily basis. This works for me usually as I'm not prone to acne or severe breakouts, however find that my skin isn't as resilient as it used to be. As with all of us, there's so many things we could be doing to help improve the appearance of our skin, however when you don't have a lot of time on your hands, sometimes looking into reviving your skincare routine can seem like a big old chore. Neutrogena's Hydro Boost range has made this very simple and affordable for all of us. 

There are 7 products in the Hydro Boost range that aim to instantly lock-in intense hydration whilst progressively releasing it throughout the day as and when your skin needs it most. I start my day off doing a superficial cleanse using Neutrogena’s hydrating Water gel Cleanser which lifts away any dirt, excess oil and makeup. This cleansing gel uses a combination of Neutrogena’s cleansing technology, hydrating agent and Hyaluronic Acid which leaves skin supple and provides a boost in hydration. On my first use my skin felt super soft after just one wash. Tip; Wash and lather the product into clean hands, apply cleanser to the face using linked fingers from the jaw to forehead using upward circular movements, repeat the same step using downward circular movements and then remove. 


Next I go on to use my favourite product of them all, The Hydro Boost Water Gel. I've honestly never seen or felt a product like it. Have you ever used cool Aloe Vera gel on your face before? Think of this gel like that except it's non-setting and does not evaporate! The gel is refreshingly lightweight and keeps skin hydrated for a long-time - it's literally like you're feeding your skin all the hydration it needs. I've been drinking so much water lately, but have found no matter how much I drink there are still bits of my skin that are patchy and de-hydrated. Ever feel the same? With this formula, you are able to target problematic areas directly and see a difference in the skin almost instantly! 


If you suffer with dry flaky skin which affect the way your makeup sits, you may want to start using both the Hydro Boost Water Gel and Cream before applying your full face. It'll have your skin looking super juicy - believe me when I say that! The Hydro Boost Gel Cream works in a similar way to the gel, helping to replenish the epidermis and protect the skin's barrier. If like me you work from home or are stuck in an office all day, these two products are great for just giving your skin that extra bit of hydration and TLC it deserves. 

Now when I'm back home after a long day out, I like to make sure I have taken off my makeup thoroughly using the Hydro Boost Range. I'll wipe my makeup off using Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Cleansing Facial Wipes (these wipes remove waterproof makeup), then exfoliate using the Hydro Boost Smoothing Exfoliator Gel and lastly use the Hydro Boost Gelée Milk Cleanser to wipe away any excess makeup. With this combination of products the skin is left clean, fresh, soft and oil-free meaning I can sleep well without having to worry about the odd pimple popping up as I've prepped my skin properly for a good night's rest. 


Long days and changing weathers can leave skin looking dull and tired. I'd love to know how you (my lovely readers), bounce back from such unpleasant effects be it big or small. How do you bounce back from a horrible day/week? What encourages you to keep going on with your day? Share your thoughts with me below... 

*Disclaimer* This post is in collaboration with with Neutrogena and contains links where I may earn a small commission. All my collaborations truly reflect my interests and contain honest opinions only!

Thanks for reading...
Friday, 31 March 2017

Wearing Your Confidence This Spring - Zeena Xena

Wearing Your Confidence This Spring - Zeena Xena
Friday, 31 March 2017
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Top - New Look here
Skirt - New Look here
Shoes - Ego Shoes here
Bag - New Look here


Right now I feel so happy with life. I'm on a roll with content, I've hit 10k followers on instagram (small milestones) and overall feel very confident. Woohoo.

I think doing these types of posts is so important as I know I have friends, people younger than me and you guys of course that read my blog. Sometimes we can find ourselves feeling down for days, months and even longer (I for one can sometimes get really down when I'm not happy with my image), so I wanted to share how I overcome these feelings through fashion in collaboration with New Look and to get you wearing your confidence this Spring! 🌷

Personal Style 
They say that confidence comes from within, however I believe that confidence is a combination of things. Confidence is not just about feeling good on the inside, but the outside too. Personal style is something that I've always loved experimenting with over the years. For me, no two days are the same. I could go from super 70's style to some kinda glam Kim K inspired outfit, or just a casual look. It's all about how I feel or how I want to feel on that day. Bright colours usually make me feel extremely happy, while more neutral/darker tones leave me feeling calm and collected throughout the day.


My interpretation of personal style is that it's all about YOU. Only you should be the judge of how you look and feel in the clothes you wear. My tips on finding your personal style, confidence and standing out is experimenting. Experiment with; trends, different styles, textures and colours. At the moment I'm OBSESSED with circle detailing, bell sleeves and my braids! (Since I braided my hair, my confidence went from about a 5 to a 10, honestly!). Let me not forget my reflective sunnies, I feel like BOSS in those and own over 30 pairs!

Taking Advantage of Good Weather 
As of lately, I've been really loving the sunny weather and how much of a confidence booster the sun alone can be. In terms of content I'll go outdoors and take a load of selfies as the sun hits me perfectly (ex; this instagram post here), or plan a shoot with a photographer/fellow blogger. I absolutely love creating content especially in the sun, I literally feel like an absolute goddess (especially with these braids hehe).

Seeing what I look like through photos allows me to generally accept myself as I am, which brings me on to my next point, accepting your flaws.


Accepting Your Flaws 
This point is so important because we all have flaws and probably dwell on them a bit too much at times. Am I right? Recently, I've started to video different angles of my face and may look in the mirror for some time just so I can really study my face. Doing this really helps me to accept my features and the parts that I generally dislike (yes there are parts the get me down sometimes too). I've also stopped using snapchat/their filters, as I found in the past I couldn't live without a filter and didn't feel pretty without one. Seriously guys, snapchat is a confidence killer... Let the sun be your natural filter!


Match Your Beauty To Your Outfits 
Drawing this post to a close, there's one thing I'd like for you guys to do. Now as I mentioned above, since I braided my hair, my confidence levels have soared. I know it sounds silly but changing your hair can really make you feel a certain way about yourself. Match new hairstyles, season changes and latest makeup techniques to your outfits for some extra confidence boost. Looking good on the outside, will definitely boost you up on the inside.

With my braids, I've started to wear red lipstick again, HUGE statement earrings and really bright colours that perhaps before I would only consider occasionally. Prior to "finding myself" again, I browsed instagram/pinterest for women that I could personally relate to and just studied the way they took selfies/put outfits together. I looked at these photos and thought "wow, these women look really confident... I want to feel exactly like that too". Now we're here. This is the most confident I've ever felt my entire life...

[Outfit details can be found above]



I'd love to know how you wear your confidence? What makes you feel like you're the hottest babe/dude in town? 
* This post is in collaboration with New Look
Tuesday, 21 March 2017

How To Make Money From Blogging - Zeena Xena

How To Make Money From Blogging - Zeena Xena
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
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I don't know why but this seems like one of those "taboo" topics in the bloggersphere. It's like we all want to see each other win (well at least I do), yet we don't share the knowledge on how to do so. I've been wanting to write this post for a LONG time now but was waiting for the right time, I feel like that time is now.

It wasn't until mid last year that I actually started taking my blog seriously and earning some dolla from my influence, not Blogging Gals, my personal influence (just an FYI both brands are separate entities). So as I'm growing personally in my blogging journey, I thought a post on how to make money from blogging would be a good shout for all of my readers.When it comes to posts like these, I find it hard to come across outlets that I can personally relate to, so hopefully this post speaks to loads of you out there. Let's get cracking baby...

Influencer Apps/Websites 
So a great way to get into being paid for posts first and foremost is by signing up to influencer apps/sites that pay you to post to your social networks. Now, I haven't tried them all but I know there are many out there who will pay you to post on different channels, Instagram being the post popular. To name a few; Takumi, Tribe, Brand New are the ones I've come across and use Takumi every so often. To find the best app/site that works for you, I'd recommend doing a simple google search and asking other influencers for their opinions on the apps and agencies they've signed up to. Guys, share with one another. What's the point in having "blogging besties" if you don't lift one another up?

Please remember that these agencies do have custom requirements whether that may be; having over a certain amount of followers, photographer like photography, specific sort of content etc. Don't let these agencies get you down if you happen to apply and they decline... You keep going boo!

I've found an article on some apps/sites which can be viewed here
(I'll add more websites/apps in as I've tested them).



Affiliate Programmes 
Something that is a bit more accessible to all of us are Affiliate Programmes. I think I started monetizing my blog through Google Ads a few months after launching it back in 2012. It wasn't my aim and I didn't earn a lot (literally pennies) but it was a great way to help keep me motivated through my journey. Some years later, I decided to look into affiliate programmes such as Affiliate WindowSkim Links, and many others properly. In the shortest of terms affiliate programmes allow you to be rewarded for advertising specific products/services on your website when you make a sale/lead. Again, I've used affiliate programmes before but haven't dedicated enough time to be able to say "wow I've made it" one day though haha. I've heard of people making a couple of hundred pounds each month though with dedication.

Affiliate programmes work in various ways, so be sure to do your research again to find one or several that suit you best!

Pitching
I hear you sighing already. I always get bloggers saying "Isn't it a bit weird to approach brands and ask for money?" and I guess the answer is it depends how you look at it. If you know a) you're a bomb ass babe b) you work hard on your content c) you possibly generate brands sales/followers then d) why not? If you want this to become your full-time job you'll have to put in full-time work!

Let's say you're working on a makeup feature for your "every day face". To start off with you could reach out to brands you've featured before/ones you swear by, pitching the idea of them being included in your latest feature. Link them to old posts to provide examples of what you have already done in the past. Make sure you sell yourself and remember, you are your own spokesperson so will literally have to hype yourself up. Discover your niche and ask yourself "What makes me different?". Have you studied beauty/have some sort of qualification or other relevant experience? Do you have darker skin and a relatively large audience in which you could recommend products to? Chuck any information in that you feel will bag you the deal!

The layout for my emails are usually; who I am, what I want and what I can offer. Now, go get it gurlllll!


Create & Maintain Relationships
In the world of blogging this is key. Working hand in hand with PRs/PR professionals is so important as they'll pitch you to brands and contact you with opportunities be it paid or unpaid. The best way to start out doing this is by forming relationships with PRs who have clients that you are genuinely interested in. My faves are BPR, Lucy Dartford, Popcorn PR, Kapranos PR  and The Digital Fairy who all have a number of clients across lifestyle, beauty, fashion and food! My relationships with PRs are pretty much very organic, however from time to time I may be contacted with an opportunity or may pitch an idea if I feel they have a client who fits what I'm working on.

A lot of the time you may not receive the answer you want to hear but you tried right? You've got to keep trying and going on to be able to get to where you want to be.

Sell Unwanted Things 
Depop has become my best-friend OMG. Over the weekend you may have seen me tweet about me de-cluttering sesh that turned into a full weekend of getting rid of clothes, electrical-s and random bits and bobs. I aim to do this every month or so.

Us bloggers are granted with so many goodies ranging from clothes to beauty, devices etc - and believe it or not we aren't paid ALL the time to promote these products. I for one will promote things I like, find interesting and believe in ONLY. Having said that, there are so many things I'll wear for a post I want to create and never wear again because my life isn't as glamorous as my instgram account seems. 🤣 More to the point, although you may not be receiving payment directly from a brand, selling your items on can kind of fill this gap.


Showcase Your Talents
There's more to blogging than just getting sponsored posts/paid ads believe it or not. If you have a talent; photography, hosting events, marketing knowledge, creating (art, products, services etc) promote these to your audience. Blogger Stephi from stephilareine.com suggests communicating outside of the online realm and putting your talents to good use. Are you funny/confident? Why not opt for stand-up comedy? Are you like me and love providing feedback on products/services? You could think about joining focus groups local to you. Honestly the opportunities are endless, you just have to think outside of the box....

Outfit details...

Coat - Pretty Little Thing
Dress - Whistle Candy
Shoes - Simmi Shoes 
Sunglasses - H&M
Bag - Jasper Conran @ Debenhams
Ring - Gemporia
Hair - Beauty Locks

* This is not a sponsored post, I just genuinely wanted to share ways in which we can all be making money from our influence! Have any other money-making tips for my wonderful readers? Leave them below...



Thursday, 2 March 2017

Opportunities, Travelling and Freelancing - Zeena Xena

Opportunities, Travelling and Freelancing - Zeena Xena
Thursday, 2 March 2017
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What an amazing year it's been so far. I mean hell yeah we go through our struggles but boy am I grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way. Last month you may have seen me feature in L'oreals #MatteAddiction campaign which for me personally, is one of the most amazing opportunities I've had thus far. Thanks to all of you that have supported me on my journey, really means the world to me. 


Dress by Jarlo London here

I've had a lot of questions of how I got the opportunity and all I can say to answer that is just by being myself and working hard on my personal brand. I was quite surprised that I got the opportunity to be fair, as I'm not as beauty orientated as the others. This is the direction I'd like to move in eventually however and have been saying for some time now, that I would like to start doing short instagram videos. Really hoping that I find the confidence to go through with this - I need your help guys haha!



In terms of other opportunities, I feel I've been really fortunate this year. Scrap that. I've worked my bloody ass off for years but have always made Blogging Gals more of a priority, as you can imagine it takes a lot to run that community. Mid-last year, I decided that well actually, I'm a beautiful person, I'm relatable and full of wisdom so why not focus on talking about experiences/offering tips to readers? This outlook has definitely helped me stand out from the rest I feel, and has made me more "appealing" to brands. There are so many opportunities out there for us all to grab. It's definitely about finding what feels most authentic/enjoyable to you and making it your empire! 


Dress by PrettyLittleThing here
Belt - Primark


Travelling

During Feb you would have seen me travel to beautiful Marrakesh with some friends planned by yours truly. We stayed in to beautiful riads (on a collaboration basis) and had the most wonderful time. I have a few trips planned this year and can't wait to take you guys on the journey's with me!

I really feel like my life's complete when travelling and that's why I plan on doing so much of it this year. I also find that when travelling, I'm able to create the best content as the scenery is simply beautiful and the lighting is POPPPPPIN'.  You can tell by the photos in this post right?

Read about my trip to Morocco here


Top by Quiz London here
Skirt by Pretty Little Thing here 

Freelancing

Let me just tell you, the life of freelancer is SO hard. I mean I'm happy doing what I do but through my career choice, I never thought I'd have to face as many struggles as I have done in the past and even now. We all know that being a freelancer especially in the creative industries is difficult, particularly as there's so many talented creatives out there. It's crazy because if you have a child, you'd never expect to find a childminder on the internet for free or if you require a beauty service, you'd pay for it. So I feel I do have to battle with people understanding my worth. With us creatives our work sometimes isn't recognised as of high importance so yes it can be difficult to find clients and keep them rolling for a long time. I really do commend those in the creative fields who are not only getting by but excelling or striving to. 

Fortunately for me, I've learnt how to be a bit more proactive these days not limiting myself to one thing. I have my blog, Blogging Gals, clients, hope to freelance in skincare treatments and blogger consultations soon which is really exciting. 


Swimsuit by Rare London
Sunglasses by LAMODA here


Dress by Quiz London here

Really, this was just a life update post. I didn't just want to show you photos of my holiday with no purpose but wanted to shed some light briefly on where I am at now in life. Again, a big thanks to those of you that support me. 

///

Do you love reading my blog and other blogs? Want to start your own? Or are you stuck at the minute and need some advice? Get in touch with me zeenaxenablog@gmail.com I'm offering one to one skype sessions at a reasonable rate. 

To brands, I also offer blogging consultation services in London to include; blogging as a company, involving bloggers in your marketing campaigns, social media strategies and much more. You can also reach me on the email above. 

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Pamper Yourself ft Shumailas Beauty Salon

Pamper Yourself ft Shumailas Beauty Salon
Wednesday, 8 February 2017
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Shumailas Beauty Salon Review...




It's been ages since I done a review hasn't it? As I sit here typing this, I realise how much I actually enjoy reviewing places so let me know if this is something you'd like to see more of this on the blog!

Recently, I was invited down to Shumailas Beauty Salon in London to have some treatments done in time for Valentine's Day. To be fair, it couldn't have come at a better time because a) I've been really stressed & b) I was due to fly out of the country 2 days later (Spending Valentine's in Morocco woohoo). I've been so swept off my feet with really long days out and even longer nights up completing work and other tasks, so again this couldn't have come at a better time!  



Let's talk about first impressions. So when I walked into Shumailas Beauty, I was pleasantly surprised by the decor and the ambience. The cloudy blue and white touches made the salon feel really light, fresh and almost heavenly-like while the music did the same. The salon have relaxing meditation type music playing in the background making you want to drift away. 

Staff at the salon are beyond welcoming. As soon as I arrived I was offered a variety of beverages and the option to hang up my coat. I was assigned to Jaz (who by the way is the most lovely person I have ever met - if you visit ask for her), one of the beauticians in the salon, who spoke me through the treatments I would be getting done. Jaz made me feel comfortable throughout my treatments and made me feel like a friend - N'aww!


Cuticle work & cleaning of the nails 

Whenever I go on holiday, I always get white shellac done opposed to just polish or false nails. I find this lasts longer and causes less damage, also if you're trying to travel light and not take any polishes etc then shellac is a good idea. What I like about this salon, is that they do not cut any corners when doing their work. Included in the price you pay to get your nails done, staff at Shumailas Beauty will do your cuticle work at no extra cost. Now, if like me you've been to salons in central London, you'd know they usually charge extra for this.

Instantly my nails look longer after the cuticle work had been done and feel much stronger!



Finished result using CND gel polish


My next treatment was a full set of lashes where I had a mini consultation before-hand. I was asked things such as; Have I had a full set of lashes before? Have I had any allergic reactions because of the glue used in the past? and what lengths I wanted to go for to achieve the desired look. 


Once we got the consultation out of the way, I was taken into a private beauty room where I had the chance to lay down on one of the massage tables and was even covered with a fleecy blanket. Heaven! I didn't feel any discomfort whilst getting my lashes done, however my eyes did water a bit at the beginning. I have very sensitive eyes, but they get used to someone else being around them within a few minutes. 

I opted for short and medium lengths, and this was the result... 


I love how wispy my lashes look - p.s. don't mind my no makeup face haha! 

Finally, the last treatment I opted for was a bikini wax. Mind you this wasn't part of the package but I wanted to try one as I was heading away of course. I say try because this was my first wax ever! I've never been comfortable with getting one done before, however Jaz made me feel so relaxed that I thought why not? Being my first time, it was a little painful however Jaz would stop and hold for a few seconds making the wax as painless as possible. 

I really enjoyed my two hours here, staff at Shumailas Beauty are so friendly and accommodating so would highly recommend this place for your beauty treatments - especially with Valentine's day coming up! 

Prices are so affordable with brow threading costing £3, waxing starting at £2 and the cluster lashes pictured above only £20. This salon is literally a one stop shop with so many other services available, check them out here!

There are also 5 other branches in total to visit... 

How do you get #ValentinesReady or #HolidayReady comment in the section below! 









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