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If you have any to add (or think I am way off the mark!) just tweet, Facebook or comment below. Before you arrive book a hostel or arrange to sleep on a friends floor for the first few days – you just need somewhere to get over the jetlag. But to choose any bank you want, get your NZ bank to redirect your statements to a UK address (even if it is a friends), the Banks are happy to use this as proof of address. You should be able to get a basic bank account with no monthly fees – if they say you have to pay because you just arrived you should go to another bank. City Mapper – This will save your life time and time again, essentially a one stop shop for how to get from A to B. I didn’t know if I should include this or not,it all seems so obvious when you have been here for more than a week. You swipe your Oyster when you board but not when you leave (you just push the bell and get off). Less scary and confusing then you think, after all if you get on the wrong train you just get off at the next stop and start again. You can hire a Boris Bike all over London, you then just return it to another convenient docking station. In London the only cabs that can pick you up on the street without a prior booking is a Black Cab. As a general rule for office based jobs it is a good idea to register with two or more recruitment companies, and then bug them to death (they will forget about you).
Rather confusingly (for Kiwi’s at least), over here 111 is a number for non-life threatening emergencies, if you are panicking and need advice it is the number to call. When you do finally move into a permanent flat, locating some of the mundane aspects of life can be challenging.
One of the biggest surprises since moving to London is the extent to which social media has become ingrained in the expat lifestyle. When you are new to a city even the smallest things can be seriously confusing (the two things that confused me when I first arrived was how to register with a doctor and where to buy coat hangers… the two are totally unrelated). Twitter has also been brilliant, both in finding other adventuring expats and in finding things to do. After months of walking and wandering on my own I decided to be brave and go out and meet people. Yes you feel like its the first day of school and are asking the kid eating crayons to be your friend, but the reality is that most expats (and some Londoners) are in the same position and are overjoyed to expand their social circle.
You don’t happen to know what it is like getting prescribed ritalin for ADD or a number i can call.
Especially the info about supermarkets, Boots etc; I spent a bloody fortune in Waitrose in the first few months and couldn’t find a chemist to save myself ! When I moved over I actually opened an account with HSBC BEFORE moving to London, then just activated it when I arrived. If you are looking for that little bit of home in the way of family, culture, other expats please do go along to Ngati Ranana which is the London Maori group. For those who’ve move in London and are renting, which is probably all of you, here is an article that might help with surviving rent.
Rebecca your blog is a god send – thanks so much for sharing, I bookmarked your blog (I arrived a week ago) and just spotted the National Insurance recommendation and called them to request the application pack, there was so much data to process my brain has been in information overload! One thing about the transport you might want to add is that busses announce which stop is next (unlike in NZ) so you don’t have to worry about missing the stop city mapper is telling you to get off at. I’m moving for a while to London at the end of March and definitely needed some advises like yours. I’m thinking of writing some of my tips on my blog, will definitely link back to this!
You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. 10 Concealer Palette Review & Swatches NEW 120 Colour Eyeshadow Palette SWATCHED!78 Professional Palette SWATCHED! It is that time of year again, where the fashion and beauty industries align and the Earth goes into craziness overdrive. Whether you are a make-up artist working backstage on the shows or running around attending the shows themselves, you will thank yourself later when you begin each jam packed day with fresh, new make-up brushes.
Use our Make-up Brush Cleaner to keep your brushes nice and clean, no one likes to spend an extra 10 minutes searching for a clean  blending brush in the morning. A great way to keep all of your make-up brushes and tools neat and tidy is with our new A9 Professional Apron.   You can slide it into your favourite tote bag or throw it into your kit bag. This year I will be on the Benefit Cosmetics Trend Team, once again assisting the wonderfully talented Lisa Potter Dixon. Other things to take note of, if you choose to strut around in your favourite pair of heels, at some point you will wish you had worn flat shoes. Ive been trying to get my hands on some Crown Brush brushes but havent had the chance to since the hautelook sale! Sounds like a great book that could help to give me new ideas and fantastic to get the make up to be able to try them out, thank you for the chance. Also, the flat shoes hahaha so funny because I always regret I do not take a pair of those.
Bitchy looks, inappropriate footwear and some ugly ass models – yes, London fashion week has flown by again, but not without the obligatory gaggle of tweens trailing after Harry Styles.
It’s important to mention that there are numerous locations for fashion week, and unfortunately some are, quite frankly, impossible to penetrate without an invitation.
First of all, as fashion week progresses, security tightens up considerably so if you are able to, get down there on the first or second day and give it hell. The general set up is that you line up outside the Freemason’s Hall, until you are let in through the main entrance, then after the show you leave the building and line up again. You can queue up, get to the front, and try to reason with the girl on the door – ask sweetly if she wouldn’t mind, erm, if you can perhaps, erm, just slip in at the back after everyone’s gone through, perhaps, please? You can also put two fingers up at feminism and flirt with the security guys – preferably the ones inside, not out, as they are the boundary between the girl outside and the girl on the door to the catwalk.
Of course, if you manage to wangle yourself an actual invite, you’ll be justified in basking in your smugness, but if you don’t, a certain amount of dignity has to be left at the door. We use cookies to enhance your visit to our site and to bring you advertisements that might interest you. However, ’tis the season to be vommy, and hypochondriacs across the capital are terrified of catching something that will definitely ruin their Christmas. I will suggest to them that they go home, pretending to be solicitous; I’m not, I’m being selfish. Ideally, you’d get up an hour earlier and run, walk or cycle to work to avoid contact with people. Food can stoke your immune system; fortunately, many foods that do so are normal, everyday foods rather than the sort of ascetic fare that Gwyneth cooks up on Goop.
Ginger contains capsaicin, which can see off infections before they seize hold; spinach is high in antioxidants and beta-carotene, which is thought to increase our body’s ability to fight infection. On Adblock Plus click "Enabled on this site" to disable ad blocking for the current website you are on.
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Driverless trains that run on an extensive line through the city may sound like something from a sci-fi movie, but these are in fact a reality. The tube strike could actually serve as a bit of a blessing in disguise, giving you the opportunity to try out some of the more alternative modes of transport the capital has to offer. I am an out and proud Ravenclaw; total nerd, sassy as fuck and rather partial to a diamond encrusted diadem. So I turned up in a full tizz, accidentally pushing over a small child in Slytherin robes (lol, no one accidentally pushes over a Slytherin) and told a muggle staff member my entire train drama starting from the moment I woke up. The Harry Potter Studio Tour takes you through some of the ridiculously intricate sets that the eight movies were filmed on.
Even if you haven’t seen the movies in a few years there is something special the first time the Great Hall doors open and you step inside. Decked out for Christmas the hall is lined with Christmas trees, each topped with a flying witch because thats just how Hogwarts rolls. The other sets are also getting into the holiday spirit with snow falling behind each window, tinsel adorning the beds in the boy’s dormitory and the remnants of a hard Christmas lunch all over the Burrows kitchen table.



Then came the moment we [I] had all been waiting for [desperate to Instagram]; the set model of Hogwarts covered in a fresh dusting of Christmas snow.
I don’t care how cynical you are, get yourself down to the Harry Potter Studio Tour and get your fill of Christmas magic. I LOVED this decked out for christmas, I have yet to go when it’s normal, I feel like it won’t live up to that first time! Aw I went in March and it wasn’t decked in snow but I definitely want to go back to see it dressed up and snowed in for Christmas!!
After a terrifying glimpse into the corporate world I ran away to live the expat life in London.
It’s true that living in a capital city like London is tough; prices are higher, people are ruder, rent is sky-high. I have an average paying salary (admittedly higher than anywhere else in the UK, thanks to the added London living allowance), but still I don’t have too much left over after the bills have disappeared – who does eh?! That’s because there are so many things out there to actually help you save money here – shocking I know! I always stand by his money mantra at the bottom of his mailing list emails, when I make ANY purchase now.
I must admit a big reason for me moving to London, was for the vibrant social life (as is the pull for hundreds of other people, I’m sure). The Alternative London Tour is a great FREE way of getting a more interesting look at London’s latest street art, bars, vintage stores and historic locations. After that I highly recommend a short term let (where someone has gone on holiday etc and you stay in their room), it means you have some stability but are not locked in before you know where you are working. Currently the easiest bank for new arrivals Lloyds because they just need to see your passport (not proof of address). I choose to pay a monthly fee because my account also gets me travel insurance and mobile phone insurance and the monthly fee is cheaper than getting them separately.
Just be careful, because traffic in London is scary and you will most likely be riding without a helmet (which apparently is totally fine here). Shapelle has written a great piece on recruitment companies and job hunting in London which you can read here. So you first need to find out which recruiter is going to have the type of job you are looking for.
I highly recommend going to markets for cheap fruit and vegetables, they are everywhere so just do some googleing for one near you.
Sainsburys, Morrisons and Tesco are middle if the range, much of a muchness price and quality wise.
This is partly because there is some incredible shopping over here, but mostly because we had to pack our entire lives into a suitcase (and you had to make the hard choice of hair straighteners over those amazing glitter stilettos). The pharmacists in Boots are pretty good, and if you ask them simple health questions they can quite often help you out on the spot. You can’t just pick which one you want to go to, they have catchment areas and they have to be accepting new patients (check out your options here).
If you need help, advice, or just need to know where to watch the rugby Facebook groups like Kiwis in London are the answer.
Some people move over here with a group of friends which is ideal because you have a buddy for all your London firsts.
I joined a netball team (until I realised that it involved running…), found a book club, attended blogging network events, and stalked Emma from Adventures of a London Kiwi. I’m the same with just packing up and going a few years ahead of my friends at home, and making friends Is definitely the hardest thing so far! You don’t need to be able to speak the language or even be maori, they will welcome you in with open arms. They only require your NZ Passport to open one (can be all done on the same day), then get a statement sent out and you can use that statement as proof of address for anything else. I was lucky as a gift I got a kick start package totally recommend it if you plan to move over.
I thankfully won’t need to worry about accommodation but all the rest – very helpful! Today our Head of Make-up Artistry Zoe Newlove has put together some of her top tips for surviving the madness.
Also great to keep your professional kits stocked up with our cleaner, so you can give your brushes a quick refresh in between your show schedules. You will of course also want to be looking your absolute best, what with all the street style photographers lurking around every corner. Her book, Easy On The Eyes,  is such a fantastic read and is full of awesome ideas helping you to create quick and easy eye make-up looks.
Don't miss a moment to scribble down inspiration or to capture your favourite piece on the runway.
Crownbrush UK are teaming up with Lisa Potter Dixon to give away all of the above goodies and a copy of Lisa's brand new book.
It will close at midnight GMT and the winner will be chosen and announced on our Facebook page at the end of that week. I have never been very confident with makeup, and had never really been taught how to do it properly so was always thinking I was wrong, therefore I never used it and always let my bad skin be on show.
I am just starting up and always on the lookout for new tips, tricks and inspiration, the book looks fab I might have to invest in it!! Then you have all the fashion bloggers, competing to see who can wear the most ludicrous outfit and thus procure the most attention as they drift around in the courtyard of Somerset House.
Not the cool industry lot who have tickets, but us mere mortals – the sad losers who must idle on the cusp of the red carpet, grasping at the frayed ends of Alexandra Shulman’s skirt in the vague hope that we can sneak into a show. I’m here to tell you it can be done, but as I have found out, it is somewhat more complicated than saying you’re Cara Delevigne’s cousin’s girlfriend’s flatmate. Somerset House is the main hub, with other venues like the Topshop Show Space hosting a selection of shows. This means that not only is it obvious when there is a show about to begin (although there is normally one every half an hour or so), it’s also the perfect place to people watch. These girls don’t like attitude, so although you want to scream, “Look love, you’re working here. I’ve hid in the toilets and behind pillars before – yes, you look sketchy, but it’s effective.
When I was interning at a well known women’s monthly magazine I had to do exactly that after the teenage work experience girl buggered off back up North with the with communal industry pass that we were all meant to be using. Mothers tell childbirth tales and thrill in the graphic details; travellers recount the sorry afternoon on which they ran out of money, got robbed  and missed a connecting flight. Noro stories are too unpleasant, and once you emerge from the darkness you want to pretend it never happened. Alternatively, a scarf is a passable ad hoc mask, and coating your hands in sanitiser at every stop minimises the risk of infection.
Surprisingly swiftly (thank God for bus lanes!), these red knights in shining armour could save your bacon by getting you to work today.
After years of travelling underground, you might be surprised as to how walkable a lot of tube journeys are around London. I had built a 30 minute buffer into my journey but the bus, two tubes and a train just laughed and destroyed me like a horcrux.
Before I even got to the funny part with the angry guy on the tube she just patted me on the shoulder and said don’t worry just go in I SWEAR I DIDN’T USE A SPELL ON HER.
It’s a bizarre experience to see these entire worlds that you have watched on screen, and turn up in real life to discover the fourth wall is actually a bunch of gawping tourists. The tables are topped with a Christmas feast including turkeys with all the trimmings, house branded Christmas crackers and Christmas puddings that spontaneously burst into flames.
I was expecting a little more snow on the outside sets (Privet Drive and the night bus) but I contented myself with a second butterbeer to make up for it (seriously Butterbeer is my ideal combination of sugar and cream). Unless you are a Slytherin in which case take your bitter heart of coal and go and rain on someone else’s Christmas parade. It’s just finding these little saving wonders in the first place – and that’s where I am here to help. I seem to do more selling on there than buying at the moment to bring those extra pennies in, but you really can save yourself a tonne when buying, by clicking there first.


If you’re anything like me, and you get pretty excited by the prospect of hitting an unknown restaurant, then this card is pretty handy. Previously they have showcased exhibitions about skin, drugs and at the moment it’s dirt. It totally depends on what you are looking for and is worth shopping around for the best offer.
At the moment (August 2015) a bus trip is a flat rate of ?1.50 per ride no matter what the distance. There are even massive advertising  campaigns about how dangerous it is to get into an unlicenced cab (the gist of which is all the unlicenced cab journeys seem to end in rape, theft or murder).
The best way to do this is ask someone already in the industry, but assuming you don’t know anyone go to a job site like Guardian Jobs, Total Jobs, Monster or Reed. The quality is not fantastic, but it is the ultimate in fast fashion where most of the clothes are under ?10. For vaguely less fashionable but yards ahead in quality, go to Marks and Spencer or John Lewis.
You then need to fill in a form and show bank statement or bill as proof that you are in their area and you can make an appointment to see them.
I get excited if someone turns to me and asks what the time is thinking that I might find companionship in that… Haha thanks for the bank advise to that’s super helpful!
Some of the websites are TERRIBLE, so I recommend just emailing them and asking if they have social teams.
It has been a brilliant experience and you can go snorkelling, hiking, movies, berries – whatever takes your fancy really. They sort bank account number, NI number,get a sim for you and sign you up for job agencies. An issue which I really struggled with was actually fitting in and finding people to do things with, I was quite lonely. Whether you play with eyeshadow, our Pure Exposed Palette is a keeper, or if you want to experiment with the graphic liner trend using our Gel Eye Liner pots, make sure your make-up is on point for LFW.
Even if you cannot get into any of the shows (they are by invitation only) it is great to get caught up in the atmosphere of it all. All you have to do to enter is leave us a lovely little comment below and tell your friend's to come and check out our beauty blog.
Since watching Lisa's video tips and her recommendations of your brushes, I have now started to try bits out more and get good results!
Vauxhall Fashion Scout is the place to go for international and up-and-coming designers, and from my experience, this is the best place to shark about. If you are inside whilst people are coming in again for another show, go straight to the girls on the door to the catwalk, who are often nicer than their counterparts outside. So dress classy, suck up to the clipboard wenches and for God’s sake, once you’re in the building use every jammy trick you can to stay in there. Who jauntily skipped along on your usual journey only to find that TFL had maybe told a fib, and instead only chaos and angry commuters were running instead of a train? The DLR line seems to unaffected by the strike (*fingers crossed*) so why not use that as an excuse to try out these uber cool, metal pod train thingys. The reason I was freaking out was because entry to the Harry Potter Studio Tour is timed, and I turned up for my 12 o’clock tour at quarter past.
He also provides details on all companies offering vouchers or money off, the latest news on finance in an easy-to-read style and how to get your hands on tonnes of freebies. So I cannot stress how important VOUCHERS are and how much money you will save, as a result of obtaining them! Admittedly, you do have to check which restaurants you can go to (as some, even certain chain stores, sometimes don’t accept them) and you’re definitely better going Monday to Thursday to actually get the deal. Before you get the tube, just check google maps because there are some parts of Zone 1 where it is far quicker to walk. The only way around this is by pre-booking with a mini-cab company (pre-booking could mean 5min before you are ready to leave). Recruiters post job adds there, so find a job you are interested in and then approach the recruitment company that posted it. Also have your first transfer from NZ dollars to pounds for free it has made everything so easy.
We all have that one foundation we can rely on to get us through from AM to PM, apply yours easily with our Flawless Face Blender. They have probably had to endure a bevy of bitches trying to get in already that morning, so be humble and smile. They will let you in at the end after you’ve told them (convincingly) that the girls outside said it was fine.
Apps like Citymapper are great for mapping out the best route, telling you how long it will take and even how many calories you burn. This combination meant that visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour today when it has JUST been decked out in all its snow covered Christmas glory is essentially a wet dream…except Voldemort was there. I mean I’ve seen the punishments Umbridge metes out and I just don’t want ‘I will not be late’ permanently etched on my hand…although that may solve my perpetual lateness issue. For me, that’s perfect as mid-week dining breaks up the working week nicely, I think.
I always use Kabbee because it compares all the nearby mini-cab companies and gives you a rating for them. And if you are truly freaking the freak out about getting a job, click the panic image at the bottom of this post. CROWN brushes are by far my favourite brushes for my eye makeup looks, very soft and easy to blend out eyeshadows, and this would be fab and give me that kick start to start up on my own!! London is probably on your itinerary, being the English capital, home to the queen and all that good stuff. Unfortunately, you will have to step to the side and ignore all the assholes who flick their hair in your face as they walk past fanning their invitations, but you’ll feel suitably smug at the end when you’re escorted through and given a guest pass. Don’t touch your mouth with your hands, and steer clear of friends with diarrhoea or vomiting. May not get you to work on time but at least you’ll be walking in to the office with a smile on your face. Again you can use your contactless debit card (if you got your bank account sorted) instead of an Oyster, just make sure you tap in and out with the same card. You can always go Uber but I personally don’t agree with their ethics, so I stick with hailing a Black Cab on the street or using Hailo to flag one down with my phone.
If you get it, you are infectious up to 48 hours after your last bout of vomiting or diarrhoea, so be careful!
Like most cities there is some crime but you will not run into crazy people armed with automatic weapons! Having said that, London is traditionally less friendly than smaller cities, towns and villages. It is home to a huge variety of people from around the world and many are transient, staying a few months or years before moving on. Our TVs are full of excellent US TV series and films, and many of us are probably more familiar with your legal system than we are our own, thanks to CSI and several decades of top crime thriller shows shown over here. You won’t feel like a fish out nof water when you chat with a Brit!Eating and drinkingYes, you can drink the tap water. The tubes are very efficient, but not very nice late at night unless you’re comfortable on almost-empty platforms deep underground, in the company of drunk people! Take one good London map app and you’re set to discover what makes London tick after dark.
It’s the best way to discover the city in all its quirky glory, complete with fascinating smells, sights and sounds you miss if you spend your days in and out of tube stations.



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