Sunday, 16 October 2016

Not Another Autumn Post

I spent the day writing this post in between packing for my upcoming belated Summer holiday. The first few days will be spent in the US for a school friend's wedding before we fly to Jamaica for some sun, sea and sand. I've never booked a beach holiday so late in the year and whilst I'm so excited to chase a final bit of sunshine, October really is a lovely time of year which I don't want to wish away. So, in the spirit of the season, this post is ALL about Autumn and the Autumnal things and feels I love the most.

Hygge and home comforts

Totally stealing this wonderful philosophy from the Danish. Hygge is essentially the process of enjoying one's life and creating warm, inviting atmospheres to enjoy with those around you. As much as I love summer, I relish the thought of being able to channel my inner hermit and stay indoors snuggled up against the cold. Of course I'm all for spending crisp days outdoors but you can't beat the feeling of returning home and settling in for the evening. Wow, I'm such a grandma aren't I!

Another big part of Hygge is candles. The more the merrier as far as I understand. They help create an instantaneous warmth and relaxing atmosphere and with my favourite cinnamon bun scented candle at hand, there is nothing more heavenly.

The food

I'm all about comfort eating in the colder months and my ultimate Autumn/Winter meal is hot chicken pie and mashed or roasted potatoes. Salivating just thinking about it actually! And as basic as it is,  I love walking around armed with a hot takeaway drink to stay warm. Whether it's a pumpkin spiced latte, hot chocolate or mulled wine, they bring comfort from the very first sip.

The fashion

I'm all about layers so I'm in my style element over the Autumn months and scarves and jackets are my weakness. I blogged about a few new pieces I recently stocked up on including an oversized leopard print scarf (basically a blanket) which you can read here, but I have also been eyeing up this rust cropped jacket from ASOS. I have been not so patiently waiting for my size to come back in stock because the colour and lining is Autumn goals as far as I'm concerned.

So there you have it. For me, the fashion, home comforts, hearty food and warming drinks really do make Autumn a fabulous season. I've particularly enjoyed reading everyone's Autumn inspired posts and edits so please do leave links below which I will check out whilst wrapped in a blanket and drinking a hot beverage or two.

Elisha x

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Grease is the word: L'Oreal Extraordinary Clay Pre-shampoo Masque review

Having thick hair is a blessing and a curse. On one hand I have generally strong, healthy hair which can withstand heat and colour. But day to day it is actually very difficult to manage and takes time to wash, blowdry and straighten. I genuinely find myself scheduling workouts and evenings out around non-wash days - first world problems, eh!

This means I'm always on the lookout for products which help to tame and smoothen my hair so it's easier and quicker to style. Under the microscope today is the L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary clay pre-shampoo masque which claims to purify the scalp and leave you with light lifted roots for 72 hours. The masque is part of a collection of clay based products which also includes a shampoo, conditioner and dry shampoo.

I turn to clay based skincare products for their clarifying oil-reducing properties so it made sense to try a clay hair mask to neutralise oily roots. The mask itself has a light minty scent and is thick in texture but still easy to scoop out and apply. One pot costs £5.99 and considering it took 2-3 handfuls of product to coat my scalp there should be enough for 4-5 uses depending on hair thickness.

I left the masque to soak for 5 minutes as instructed before rinsing and following with shampoo and conditioner. Similar to the Extraordinary clay shampoo which I've also been trying out, you have to be careful to rinse out all the product or the lengths of your hair can be left feeling slightly gritty and dry.

So, does it live up to its claims? For me, yes. The first difference was that my hair was less tangled and easier to brush through when wet. Once blow dried, the roots also felt noticeably lighter. The roots continued to feel light and oil-free in my day 2 hair which is nothing new. Towards the end of the day however, my scalp usually starts to feel oily so I was pleased to find it still feeling clean. By day 3 my hair is an oil slick but apart from feeling a little greasy in the roots I wasn't itching to reach the dry shampoo. The lengths of my hair did feel a little limp but given that it is naturally thick, this wasn't really a deal-breaker for me. I would guess that for those with finer hair, dry shampoo would be needed to re-add volume particularly at the roots.

All in all the clarifying properties did seem to keep my hair fresh for three days. I did notice that after 2 consecutive uses, my hair was feeling a little coarse and dry. So rather than adding it to every single hair wash, I think I will keep it handy for use before busy weekends or holidays where I want a deeper clean to extend washes.

Does anyone else struggle to manage thick and greasy hair? Let me know if there are any other products worth trying to help tame the grease!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Style diaries: New in for Autumn

Over the past few weeks both the leaves and temperature have started to drop and we've been left waiting for Autumn to arrive in full force. With this transitory period comes the tricky task of dressing for in-between weather. Still too warm for winter coats and boots but no longer suitable to continue living in sandals and bare legs.

It's the time of year where I truly struggle to dress appropriately. Last week I left the house wearing sandals on a deceptively sunny morning and was left feeling the chill all day. But October is here so it's time to store away the summer wardrobe and mix in some warmer pieces to layer up and take me through to winter.

Cardigans just don't sit right on my shoulders so I rely on long sleeved tops and jumpers to keep warm. My first pick was a lightweight black and white sweater from Primark. I haven't actually shopped here in a while but was instantly drawn to the shirt detail which adds a nice twist to an otherwise simple top. The shirt layer hangs at just the right length and I see it working well with jeans and denim skirts. I also picked up a fitted black top from New Look. The lace up V-neck front is a nice detail and makes it work as a great day to night option. I liked it so much, I also ordered it in grey.

I managed to find a new pair of ankle boots from London Rebel during a recent browse on ASOS. As I'm on the larger end of the shoe size scale, I struggle to find flat boots which look, dare I say it, feminine! But the almond toe and silver detailing ticks all the boxes and I'm actually looking forward to wearing this pair.

I also opted for some ASOS slip on trainers for warmer days where we're free of rain. On days like this, I'd get too hot wearing boots so the plimsoll style provides the comfort of trainers whilst the nude colour and pointed shape stops them from looking so casual.

Confession time, I bloody love a scarf. And whilst I certainly didn't need to buy a new one, this leopard print scarf from ASOS packs a punch. It's incredibly oversized and wraps around comfortably to keep the cold out. So oversized in fact it doubles up as a blanket when sprawled out on the sofa. Winner!

I'm always a little bit sad to have to say goodbye to summer but at least with my weather appropriate footwear and easy to layer tops and scarf, I'm ready to embrace those crisp autumn days - armed with a Starbucks festive drink, of course!