Easy Autumn Fashion part 1

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As the evening draw in and the breeze gets cooler, there’s no need to retire into baggy cardigans, trusty leggings and big boots. Here are some ideas to make the most of this seasons very wearable fashions.

No one has to feel frumpy because they are wearing long sleeves. Wear a well cut top with a statement print and/or extra detailing like these skinny ribbons. From Topshop.

Mini-medium satchels are so practical, they can be carried as a handbag or with longer strap; they are perfect for desk-to-bar or to smarten up a weekend outfit. From ASOS.

Not as harsh as black; a burgundy or dark brown leather jacket creates a softer look. Casual, yet structured it can be worn open without looking too boxy or folded right up for warmth on cold evenings. From Dorothy Perkins.

 

 

 

 

Why not warm up the usual animal print with red/orange and black combinations. Incredibly flattering on medium – dark skin tones. Enough fabric not to feel chilly sitting out on a terrace but the perfect cut to keep it fun and flirty. From River Island.

 

Never think of jeggings as being cringey-casual again! These add a tough edge to any outfit while still retaining a sleek look. From River Island.

Who says mini-skirts can’t be casual? Wear with simple dark coloured trainers and or cut away ankle boots for a sexy tomboy look. Black tights and over knee boots also work well. From Topshop.

A sturdier update on the gladiator sandal these are just as versatile. They can carry a shorter floaty dress over into Autumn worn with a longline cardigan for grungy look or be worn with simple skirts, jeans or even smart trousers. From ASOS.

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Everyone needs a cozy jumper in Autumn and mustard and pointelle knit are two trends which come around every year. If you hate the trend for big sloppy jumpers that are oddly short wasted then Autumn is the best time to find lighter, slimmer fitted, long line knits like this. From Matalan.

 

It’s crazy how difficult this cut of jeans are to find in a sea of skinnies. Flattering on most body shapes, they will balances out larger bottoms, hips or boobs and will sit flatteringly over chunky-soled trainers, cowboy boots or wedges. From River Island.

Trainers for people who dont constantly wear athleisure but want to combine comfort and fashion. From Schuh.

Chrissie

 

 

 

Turning Coarse Frizz Into Shiny Waves In Just 4 Steps – Without Heat Styling

Bit of a difference eh?

This is a great way to keep your hair healthy and natural looking, whilst weather-proofing it against wind, rain and humidity, even a fun night out!

Using these four products only and no heat styling tools.

1, Shampoo

If you find a shampoo and conditioner that are full of natural oils and butters then you shouldn’t need any hot oil pre-wash treatments. Choose products which are gentle and, ideally SLS free so they won’t strip your hair of it’s own natural oils. Use the mildest products first and then get tougher ones, only if your hair really needs it.

I add a blob of shampoo to a plastic beaker and then fill the rest with warm water and stir it with my finger. I then wet my hair through and poor it over the places I most need it. It’s a great way of spreading shampoo through thick hair without over-doing the amount you use.

I’m using Faith in Nature, Brave Botanicals Shampoo

2,  Condition

Very gently squeeze out any excess water and spread conditioner through hair from roots to tip. Rinse after a few minutes and then when hair is still very wet add a little more to mid-lengths and ends. Leave for a few minutes before gently squeezing out any excess water/conditioner residue.

I’m using Noughty, Intensive Care Leave-in Conditioner

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3, Oil

A lot of people think only people with afro hair really need to oil it or it’s only to be lightly used as a finishing product. Wrong. If you have thick hair that’s coarse or frizzy/fluffy this will be like a drink in the desert for it!

You want hair to be as wet as possible, without it actually dripping, so gently pat hair with a towel. Either poor hair oil onto palms, rub together and spread through hair or if that sounds scary, mist all over with a spray oil, paying special attention to the ends.

I’m using Pierre’s Apothecary, Argan Renewing Hair Treatment Mist or olive oil when my hair is freshly bleached or very fluffy as it has a thicker consistency.

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4, Style

Let hair absorb the oil for a moment but don’t let it get much dryer and then apply curl cream. If your hair is wavy – rather than curly – gently scrunch or twist to encourage shape and definition. If you only have very slight waves in your hair you might want to use a salt spray to encourage texture and movement instead. Remember, the more you faff about with hair as it gets dryer – the more it will freak out and frizz up.

I’m using Amika: Curl Defining Cream (since re-packaged) throughout my hair.

Now just leave your hair alone to air dry! [If you absolutely have to use a hairdryer, use on it’s lowest and coolest setting with a diffuser and don’t completely dry the top few layers.]

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My hair journey

Between the ages of 13 and 18 I used to think my hair was wonkily wavy but mostly just unruly fluff. I couldn’t do anything with it. So I permed it to get it curlier (wow, did it take!) and then years later I used straighteners to get it straighter (which lasted a few hours at most). In my twenties I went to multiple hairdressers who would straighten it “‘To fry calm it” and then tong “Proper” waves back in!? When all that needed doing was looking after it by not using harsh generic shampoos; replenish it with oil and then gently style it in a way that encouraged – rather than ‘corrected’ it’s natural shape.

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I really hope this has helped some curly girlies and the wavy wenches out there to appreciate and style their natural hair. Let me know in the comments.

Chrissie

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Radiance Shot & Dragon Blood Hyaluronic Shot

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Radiance Shot & Dragon Blood Hyaluronic Shot are the perfect duo to exfoliate and hydrate. I love the stylish packaging and the click activated pipettes give just the right amount of product needed. There are other ranges with the ‘fix’ label such as ‘Kale Fix’ (not joking) and ‘Teen Skin Fix.’

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Radiance Shot (£19.95, 30ml)

This containis fruit acids, amino acid derivatives and aloe vera to gently exfoliate, brighten, and reduce uneven pigmentation. This can be mixed with moisturiser or used directly. It is thought that Glycolic Acid can make skin sun sensitive so sunscream should be worn when going outside. Sometimes my skin can become flushed just through gently cleansing but I’ve never noticed it react to this, even when using it every other day. I would say – for my skin – this is gentle and very effective. After just one use of this my skin feels smoother, products are absorbed better, foundation glides on easier and my skin is naturally more radiant, so I’m using less makeup anyway. This really is the simplest and quickest way to naturally exfoliate that I’ve found.

Rating 5/5

Dragon Blood Hyaluronic Shot (£24.95, 30ml)

This contains 50% hyaluronic acid and ‘Dragons Blood’ sap from the Croton Lechleri tree, which apparently promotes skin regeneration, prevents environmental damage to the skin and calms inflammation. I cannot attest to it’s inflammation calming properties, as when my skin is flushed from food intolerance or hot or cold water it is going to stay red for at least an hour! The product sinks into skin quickly, feels unnoticeable on the face but slightly tacky on my palms. It does make my face look hydrated but I still need to moisturise if I want to apply foundation, or if my face is especially dry. In hot weather I prefer to use a light moisturiser combined with this underneath as it boosts the moisturisers effectiveness, without making makeup slide off.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

What’s In My Fridge

Often when I explain to people that I’m veggie and have a gluten and dairy intolerance, they often ask “Then what do you eat then?”

Top shelf: Chilled Water; Burger Sauce (this is as close to prawn cocktail sauce I’ve found and I love it on salad); Spanish Tortilia.

Middle shelf: Giant Green Olives; Organic Humus; Quorn Smokey Ham Free Slices; Violife Block Original (dairy free cheese, which is great for gooey toasties).

Bottom Shelf: Humus, Artichoke hearts in oil, Sacla Free From Green Pesto, Tahini (perfect for making your own humus by adding the tahini with tinned chickpeas, garlic paste or fresh and olive oil and blending); Gosh! Veggie Moroccan Spiced Koftas.

Salad Draw: Usually iceberg lettuce, rocket, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper; Mixed pickled veg which I love as it’s so crunchy!

Top door shelf: East End Very Hot Green Chilli; East End Hot Mango and Chilli (can’t taste any mango but it is very refreshing, used sparingly); Pitted Black Olives x2; East End Tamarind Sauce (sweeter than the original paste); Sriracha Hot Sauce (sweeter and less vinegary than Tabasco).

Bottom door shelf: Tyskie (not mine, I prefer Peroni – gluten free);OKF Farmer’s Aloe Vera with Water Melon (tasty and so hydrating); Vita Coconut Water (er, so hydrating); Alpro Almond Milk (great with coffee or for making ‘cheese’ sauce).

I’d love to hear if you have any questions or if there are other ways that you would use these items?

Chrissie

July Monthly Blog Round-up

Turns out I’m still figuring out how to get my eye makeup to show up under my glasses. I’ve tried black eyeliner on the top and sparkly gold colours on my lids and lower lash line. This is the amazing result – oh. I’m going for masses of metallic blue and green liner next time, maybe a bit of pink!

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Ordered from Zad’s in Chorlton as I really fancied some veggie junk food. It did not disappoint – OMG it was lush!

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I reviewed the Pixi Strobe and Sculpt palette. It came out at just the right time when I needed to restock a few things, which all happened to be included in this palette! Read my review here.

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Not so great timing was finding this yellow colour corrector by Nip and Fab which you can mix with foundation that’s too orange – when I’d just thrown out three foundation which were, yup, too orange. Still, useful for that in the future and I can use it under lighter coverage foundation to tone down any redness I have.

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I found some really nice firm tofu called Toofoo. It’s great grilled with a coating of chilli oil or some BBQ sauce.

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When I heard that LUSH were releasing a solid foundation called Slap Stick and that it came in 40 shades with three undertones, I had to try it. See what I thought here.

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After half a year of summer I’d gotten a bit fed up coconut water or almond milk based smoothies. I chucked a load of blueberries and raspberries and water into a blender and blended thoroughly, then I added around 10 ice cubes and pulsed to create a slushy . It tasted wonderful!

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I bought some amazing unicorn inspired brushes and realised I couldn’t fit them into any makeup bags I own. I saw this sparkly pencil case in Tesco and they fit great…Now that I’ve sawn off the giant pointy bit at the end. I actually think they look better now and are easier to use.

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I have combination hair, y’know oily roots, meh mid-lengths and frizzy ends. I can’t tell you how many pre-wash treatments or overnight treatments I’ve used and two thirds of my hair LOVED them but my roots looked like I’d been at a festival – for a year. So I thought I’d share these two products that have solved the need for all of that, read the post here.

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This has been my fave outfit since the heatwave broke and I can stand to wear trainers – rather gladiator sandals – again. Doing outfit flatlays is hard! I miss Polyvore.

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Chrissie

 

 

The Perfect Shampoo & Conditioner For Combination Hair

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Everyone has heard of ‘combination skin’ but many people also have ‘combination hair’ too. Y’know, greasy at the roots, average or coarse in the mid-lengths and dry or fluffy toward the ends. Most generic shampoos for greasy hair strip roots of ANY oil but pre-shampoo conditioning masks or oil based leave-in-conditioners can often only be used on ends. It can feel like a crazy balancing act with too many specific products, time and money.

Here’s my hero duo…

Faith in Nature – Brave Botanicals, Shampoo (£4.50, 250ml) Shampoo which cleanses greasy roots, while Demask rose and Argan tame frizz and replenish important oils, to give hair strength and shine. Certified vegan and Cruelty Free Internal/BUAV approved. This also quite kind to coloured hair I’ve noticed.

Noughty Intensive Care, Leave-in Conditioner (£6.99, 150ml) One of the very few leave-in-conditioners which doesn’t leave roots feeling flat or heavy. Argan oil, Shea Butter and Natural Source Vitamin E leaves hair naturally balanced and healthy. Oh, and I’ve just noticed this conditioner has won multiple awards and is certified vegan.

If your hair is long and combination like mine, this duo will reduce your shower time dramatically and save the strength in your arms for styling!

Chrissie

 

 

Slap Stick Foundation LUSH

I care a lot about environment because the planet is my home and also home to so many other people, plants and creatures who depend on it functioning properly. I’m doing my best to support companies committed to reducing waste packaging or using recycled/recyclable packaging so I was looking forward to trying Slap Stick £16.95, 30g from LUSH. It’s a solid foundation egg, flat on one side and coated in wax (so you have some part to hold), which lives in a little cardboard box…

…That was until I opened it and it already looked a mess and then when I tried to lower it back into it’s box, I covered the sides in foundation and when I tried to close the lid it skimmed some foundation off the top of the stick! I get that LUSH are trying to reduce packaging but to reduce it to the size that it doesn’t actually fit the product? Ah – no.

The second thing that really attracted me to this product was the range has 40 shades, including warm, neutral and cool undertones and yellow/golden tones in general. The website matches the staff from LUSH to the shades in videos and there is a handy comparison photo showing three peoples arms sampling the whole range. I think I have pale-medium skin with warm (yellow) undertones as my veins look purple and teal; not blue or green as is the most common way you are supposed to be able tell. So I chose 12W.

The line in-between the shadow on my face near my ear and the glow of light on the front of my cheek, is where I’ve left the foundation unblended. Perfect match! Even though the stick looks too dark, the colour is surprisingly sheer but the coverage is still medium.

Slap Stick contains a massive 45% coconut oil as well as Jojoba oil so it moisturises skin. I know that some people do tend to break out with coconut oils because of allergies so I’m a little surprised they chose this ingredient but fortunately my dry skin absolutely loves it!

The texture is like a cream to powder compact and the only way I was able to spread it was to apply, leave for a few minutes and then spread with the warmth of my fingers. It stayed put all day though and covered any redness I had.

Rating 3/4

Chrissie

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Pixi – Strobe and Sculpt Palette

Pixi, Strobe and Sculpt Palette £24 – designed by beauty blogger Maryam Maquillage – is perfect for when you want to glow on the go! Practical for when you are travelling and also a simple way to get into highlighting, contouring and strobbing (which is subtly highlighting EVERYTHING – even with contour – so you look rather ethreal) as there are instructions on the packaging of how to use everything.

I wanted a more golden high-lighter/strobber than the one I had and I also needed a new contour and basic face powder as I dropped and smashed both of them. I tend to improvise by using eyeshadow or even lipstick as blush and never thought I’d find everything in the one palette! The mineral powders deliver a surprising amount of pigment so I only the lightest sweep is needed. I get the feeling this will last a very ong time.

I’ve tested this on my pale inside arm to give more contrast, and to show you the shades individually. I love the warm tone to this palette but it also has a contour which is more grey than brown, giving a very realistic shadow tone.

Not quite sure why all of the contour isn’t showing right up to my ear (above photo) so I took one in shadow (below). To give you an idea of what is real and what isn’t: The contour which carries on downward toward my mouth is my natural contour. I have a long slim face, with very high cheek bones but really chubby cheeks!

This palette is going to reduce my getting-ready-time so much as everything is all together and has similar textures and application methods. After using all of the palette my skin looks more glowing and natural, than if I’d have just used a light foundation!

Rating 5/5

10 Signs The Weather Is Too Hot

  1. If it wasn’t for the whirring noise, you wouldn’t know your fan was even switched on
  2. You try to make a slushy smoothie but the ice just melts after twominutes.img_3729-1
  3. You give up sipping your bottle of water and just poor it over your head instead
  4. You’ve only had the oven for 15 minutes but when you go into the kitchen you nearly faint with heat stroke
  5. You lean against your car for a second and burn your butt
  6. Your diet for the past week has consisted mainly of salads and er, fruit salads
  7. You can’t understand why you ever actually paid money to be this hot on a beach somewhere
  8. You realise a nice cold beer is the quickest way to cool down but also the quickest way to get dehydrated
  9. Birds have puffed up their feathers to keep warm air out.
  10. You start really considering if you would look nice with a shaved head

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Monthly Round-up June

Style

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Find this in a pile of the Bloke’s old clothes and ‘adopted it’.

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I finally found two dresses, that hide my pizza handles; are a practical but un-frumpy length (at least for me) and aren’t too prom-dressy. Both from EMP.

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When you can’t be arsed hiding your natural resting bitch face, ha! This Casual Urban Summer outfit felt surprisingly cool (before the heatwave) and also worked well with gladiator sandals for casual evenings.

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I’ve been trying to find sunglasses like these very old ones but haven’t been having much luck, as I guess they are very early-2000’s in style. I’m also learning how to take selfies with a point and shoot camera…I need more practice.

Food and Drink

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Someone gave us an Aloe plant about a year ago and this is the first time that I used it in a drink. It tastes so bitter but if you only use half a finger, somehow that tartness goes away when you mix it with anything sweet, like perfectly ripe strawberries.

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The Bloke has bringing me veggie koftas by Gosh from the ‘posh’ Tesco in Didsbury. I don’t always have enough energy to make and fry my own falafel or to get to the deli before they close so these are a great alternative and last for ages in the fridge.

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We bought some chilli seeds around two months ago and now we have this lovely gangly thing. In the morning it raises it’s leaves and then bends toward the sun in an arch throughout the day. Just after sundown, it lowers it’s leaves again and stays still. I’ve just pollinated it, with it’s own flowers but I can’t see any yellow pollen so I have no idea if it worked and we will get chilli’s.

Beauty

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Hempz, Herbal range are some of the best products I’ve ever used to style my crazy, frizzy natural hair so they were a joy to review.

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These three are the most borrow-able items in my blokes bathroom and they smell great too so I thought I’d review them in Pinching My Blokes Skincare.

Lifestyle

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I was offered a free star map from Modern Map Art and chose to get one done for my Dad for Fathers Day. Here’s my review if you want to know more.

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I found this, which made me laugh as it was so appropriate at the time ^_^

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I’ve nearly finished series 5 of Gotham. It has it’s usual gangster slant and a new intelligent baddy for young Bruce. They’ve added more of a horror element this series and also the violence is less comic book and just plain graphic. I’m not a big fan of either of the above. Poison Ivy and Butch aren’t pictured here, probably for good reason, so as not to spoil the surprise of how they look.

I made this using the Geek Alphabet created by The Nifty Nerd. Such a great idea!

Chrissie