'I love beauty and fashion and playing dress up, but I also love setting goals'
I must admit, as a big fan of E! Entertainment I was incredibly excited to meet E! News correspondent and Emmy-award winning TV host Zuri Hall. I met up with her at the V&A Waterfront's Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town (side note: with all the noise about the evils of carbs, that I found her enjoying a bowl of pasta made me love her even more). She was in the country to host the red carpet for the Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo which took place at Val de Vie Estate in Franschoek. 'I rode into the estate on a helicopter, which was a first for me, and I must admit I was a little scared. I was with Nomzamo [Mbatha] who was the host and she was super sweet and gracious. There was such a lot of luxury, glamour and fabulous people. South Africans have been so warm and kind and welcoming. I’m having such a beautiful experience and to realise people are just as beautiful inside and out was really special,' she says. When I asked about the actual polo, her response was pretty much the same as mine when I get asked: 'Mmm I think there were horses, I was working so I have an excuse!' she laughs. I see major BFF potential here.
Over lunch, Zuri and I spoke about a myriad of topics, from her #AlphaBabe blog, her beauty routine, to her style and tips on how to relax after a long day. You know, just like the pals we were, even if it was just for half an hour.
Zuri on #AlphaBabe
In addition to her role on E! News, Zuri also runs a successful blog where she provides career advice to young women. 'For me the #AlphaBabe movement is about really about glamourizing the grind. I love beauty and fashion and playing dress up, but I also love setting goals, working hard to achieve them and figuring out my career so it’s all about empowering other young women,' she explains. A quick scan through her blog reveals a love for encouraging people, helping young women to find their voice early on in their career. She also provides actual tips like negotiating a raise or corporate office style ideas.
At just 28, Zuri has an Emmy for 'Outstanding Talent' in the hosting category. When I ask her what she wishes she had known before embarking on this adventure, she readily admits that balance was not always a priority: 'I wish I had balanced life with work more. I know it’s all about hustle, hustle, hustle, especially in the beginning stage, you have to be willing to work but you should also make a little time for yourself. Life is still moving forward and years go by, sometimes I look back and realise that there were years that went by that I didn’t travel, go on holiday or spend any time with my family or friends. They always understood and were so supportive because they knew I was like, full speed ahead on my career journey, but there was definitely more than one thing that I missed out on because I was always working.'
Zuri on Beauty
Zuri is absolutely gorgeous, I’m not kidding, her skin glows and her make-up looks absolutely flawless. She tells me that the best part of her beauty routine is the the actual make-up application: 'On weekends and off days, I really enjoy pouring a nice glass of wine, putting on some music and just sitting down with my make- up and just playing with it. I really like doing my own make up. Admittedly, we have an amazing team back home at E! So on work days I roll into work looking like a hot mess, everything is just terrible, hair, face everything and then they work their magic and I come out shiny and new!'
Zuri on Fashion
'I would say my biggest style icon is supermodel Joan Smalls. She’s just so beautiful. This amazing woman of colour is just killing it in the model sphere and her style is just so effortlessly edgy and cool and yet there’s this touch of elegance and that’s what I always strive for. I don’t like things that are too fussy and I definitely try and have a sense of effortless elegance, but the ironic part is so much effort goes into it!' says Zuri. She also mentions that she loves the undone and slightly disheveled look as her street style, but when she's on air and on the red carpet she loves bodycon dresses, bold feminine looks, pops of animal prints and faux leather.
Highlights from E!
As one of the presenters on E! News alongside Jason Kennedy, Maria Menounos and Catt Sadler, she just finished her second award season with E! but says that her first one was very special: 'It's just so glamorous and fun, not only do I get to dress up and pick dresses from these amazing designers but also because you have this front row seat to a very special moment for these A-list celebs, they work their entire lives for that moment where they might get an Oscar or a Grammy, so the fact that I get to experience and share that with the viewers is really special to me.'
How Does Zuri Hall Relax After a Long Day of the Hustle?
'Wine is key! Red wine! I go home and every now and then I have a long bath with those jacuzzi jets. I’ve made it a point to force myself to run a bath, pour some wine and get some chocolates and read a book in the tub. I used to read all the time growing up and I loved it, I was a book worm, then one day I didn’t have time for it. So now I’m working on just carving out some time for myself.'