My Autumn Haul – Shoes, Clothes & Haircare

Autumn has to be my favourite time of the year. The trees change colour, I can unpack all my fluffy jumpers and it’s perfectly acceptable not to shave your legs every week. I always pack away my warm clothes each year, so by the time the season rolls around again, I’ve forgotten what I have and it’s almost like having a new wardrobe. I tend to unpack everything around October so I have a chance to wear all those things that are too-warm-for summer and not-warm-enough for winter.

October is also the time most stores go on a mid-season sale so the high street is littered with those brig red signs that are somehow an irresistible lure to go into the store. Most of the time, the stuff in there are rejects from the summer lines but now and then you can find a few things that will work layered up for autumn/winter.  As it happens, I did not actually pick up anything from the sales this month but they definitely worked to lure me in store/online and got me spending some cash.

Timberland Slim Nellie Chukka Boots

I put these up first because they were purchased entirely because I went into an Office store to check out the sale. I had spotted the most darling pair of these boots in a light pink which were on sale for around £75 (down from £105 the label said) but when I tried them on, they seemed to dwarf my feet and just looked a bit odd in general. They were called the Kenniston Nellie boots and though I didn’t like that particular style, the seed was sown and I wanted a pair of Timberland boots. So I went on to the Office website and found that Timberland does a slimmer version of the Chukka boot called the ‘Nellie‘ for £120. I wanted a pair in grey but they didn’t have my size in stock so I decided to buy them in black – a safe choice I know but I figured I could always exchange them if they looked too boring. I read through a number of the the reviews before and the only complaint seemed to be that the shoes were a bit narrow so not suitable for wider feet. They arrived around 3 days later – not bad service from Office* as the order was shipped for free.

I tried them on immediately of course and completely fell in love! They are at the same time edgy and chic and look great  being dressed down or up. They’re  also super flattering in black, especially when worn with black skinny jeans and make my legs look a lot slimmer! I have to agree with the reviews that said they do have a narrow fit though so something to bear in mind if you have wider feet. I don’t regret buying the black but I think I will definitely be buying a couple more pairs – perhaps in the camel/khaki colours.

Image coming soon

*I loved the boots so much, I talked my boyfriend into getting a pair as well. The service in the Kingston Office store was terrible and we ended up walking out having waited 15 minutes for an assistant to bring us the shoes we wanted. We found out that there is an actual Timbaland store in Kingston though so ended up going there and their service was first class!

A collection of things from Primark/Zara

Now I know Primark can be one of those stores that polarises people but personally, I find you can pick up great basics and casual pieces for a reasonable price.  I also think they’ve really upped their game recently and have been spot-on in producing stuff that allows people to buy a designer inspired piece without breaking the bank.

Left to right: Yellow/blue plaid shirt, plain khaki button down shirt & peplum top (all Primark). Geometric scarf (Zara)

I picked up a yellow/blue plaid shirt because you can never have enough plaid shirts and I don’t have one in mustard yellow. These are so easy too style on their own, under a jumper or with a few buttons undone and a pretty, lacy cami peeking through. The khaki shirt is quite straightforward – it’s a plain, long shirt that is easily worn with leggings, tucked into jeans or tied at the waist.  The floral top had my eye for a while; I’d seen it on a couple of previous trips to the store and since it always caught my attention, I decided to pick it up this time. Again, it can be worn on it’s own with a nice bralette underneath or over a cami/tank top.

The yellow geometric scarf is from Zara. I fell in love with the pattern instantly so it was definitely an impulse buy. Having worn it once, I’m going to save it for winter as it’s a bit too warm to be worn in autumn.

Hair care from Bumble & Bumble and Phillip Kingsley

The B&B shampoo smells just like B&B’s Thickening Hairspray – which I love!

I got all the haircare  products from www.lookfantastic.com which is my favourite place to shop for items like this. I can take my time to read up and not have the pressure or expectation from a store assistant that I will pick it up right there and then.

Bumble & Bumble is one of my favourite haircare brands and I absolutely swear by their Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer for protecting and keeping my hair manageable. I was looking for a clarifying shampoo when I came across B&B’s Sunday Shampoo (£20) which claims to be a clarifying shampoo containing Ginseng, Rosemary & Sage. Lookfantastic.com says that the shampoo removes buildup and recommends using it once a week.

I was also looking to switch from my current shampoo and conditioner (Alterna Caviar Moisturising shampoo/conditioner) and after a little research on volumising shampoos, I found the Phillip Kingsley Body building range. Lookfantastic has some bundle deals available where you can get the elasticizer as well, but I decided to just purchase the shampoo and conditioner which cost me £15.70 for the shampoo and £18.70 for the conditioner.

I’ve used the Sunday Shampoo twice and it was fabulous – left my hair squeaky clean and full of body afterwards. It also smells a lot like B&B’s Thickening Hairspray which I absolutely love as well! I haven’t used the Phillip Kingsley range enough to say much about whether they’ve worked. Both products seem to do a good enough job but I haven’t yet noticed a huge amount of body from just the shampoo & conditioner.

I also bought a few things to add to my make-up collection – the Morphe x Jaclyn Hill palette and a couple of things from Fenty beauty. There’s a lot to say about them though so I will talk about them in another post.

Chantelle x

 

 

A Review of the ghd Creative Curl Wand

ghd has long been one of my favourite hair care/styling brands for a while now.  I’ve had my ghd Air for several years  and it’s been on many, many weekend breaks, staycations and holidays abroad. I would definitely choose to  have my hairdryer over carrying an extra outfit or pair of shoes so it’s dear to me indeed!

When I first heard about the new Curve range of styling tools from ghd I was quite excited but it took me some time to talk myself into a purchase. It wasn’t something I’d pick up on impulse and I also don’t really like to heat-style my hair very often. Still, the range was so sleek looking and it seemed functional – but let’s be honest, I’m a magpie and attracted to shiny new stuff.  I did do my research – looking  at several dozen YouTube videos and blog reviews demonstrating the tool before I finally gave in and decided to cough up the £100-odd I knew this thing would cost.

So, mind made up, I wandered into the John Lewis in Kingston and over to the (tiny) ghd station to pick up a new curling wand. I was quite clear in my head that I wanted a wand rather than a set of tongs – the latter and I never could see eye to eye over all the hair I’ve lost to dodgy clamps. What I didn’t know though was which wand to choose – ghd offers the ‘Classic Wave Wand’ or the ‘Creative Curl Wand’.

According to the ghd website CWW offers “deep, lustrous waves with glamorous movement” while the CCW (I wonder how much thought went into the branding to get those acronyms!) claims to produce “natural looking curls to beautiful, relaxed waves”.

The kind of curl I like definitely fits the ‘loose waves’ description but I also like to think big and voluminous rather than coiled and springy.  There isn’t much variation in the colour of my dark brown hair so  tighter curls can end up looking one-dimensional and flat.

Having looked at pictures of both the wands, I was a bit suspicious of the way they looked – the Classic Wave had an even barrel but was kind of flattened, while the Creative Curl was similar but with a long, tapered end. Whenever I curl my hair, I  find it very hard to get the ends to curl and not just look ‘bendy’ so I was reluctant to pick up the tapered Creative Curl which looked like it might leave my ends looking more like rat tails than tousled waves.

I don’t know about you but the pictures and descriptions left me more confused than ever so I asked the sales lady at John Lewis for her recommendation. When she heard I did not like tight curls, she immediately recommended the ‘Classic Wave’ wand, assuring me that it would give me that loose wave I wanted. Job done.

A stylish box but I couldn’t find one that came with the case I’ve seen others with.

I walked off with my purchase in hand but being the obsessive YouTube/blog junkie that I am, I looked up reviews of both tools and watched them again and again in-between rifling through the sale racks. There was this niggling sense of doubt that I had made the wrong choice and I just wasn’t convinced that buying a flat-ish even barrelled wand was going to help with the ‘bendy ends’ issue.

And so, just as we were on our way back to the car park, I rushed back into the store with a breathless apology and mumbled explanation of how my sister told me to swap wands because she knows my hair type and what would work. Why didn’t I just tell the lady the truth? Because honestly, making something up seemed a lot more plausible – go figure.

Anyway, back to my purchase and I can tell you I’m quite pleased I made the swap. Though I haven’t personally tried the Classic Wave, the Creative Curl does everything I want – particularly with the ends of my hair.

The wand is quite slim with a tapered barrel as you can see in the picture.  It doesn’t have any heat settings and comes with just the on/off switch and some funky tones and tunes that tell you when the appliance is on and ready to use. As far as packaging & finish of the actual product go, it is about what you would expect from ghd – sleek, luxurious and sexy black.

Pros:

  • Heats up super, super fast! While this is helpful when you’re in a rush, don’t be tempted to set it down without protecting the surface first
  • Very light and comes with universal voltage – helpful if you’re always buying cheap appliances to cope when travelling
  • Built-in automatic shut-off if the appliance isn’t used for more than 30 mins
  • Comes with a slightly odd looking 3 fingered styling glove – helpful if you’re spatially challenged and burn your fingers all the time! (ahem)

Cons

  • Expensive. The Creative Curl will set you back £120 but it comes with a 2 year warranty and as someone who owns a few other ghd tools, I would say it’s well worth the investment
  • The wand I bought did not come with a case and I couldn’t see an option to buy a version that had one in the store. This is quite a major con for me as I love the stylish case my ghd flat irons came in which doubled as a heating mat. I have seen other reviews that show a case of some sort so it may be that this was just part of the packs that went out as PR
  • This may just be me but I found it really hard to decide between the Creative Curl and Classic Wave. The images on the ghd website show the ‘extremes’ of each look and what I wanted was really somewhere in-between

Having used the wand a few times now, I can honestly say that it really does produce curls that last all day and these then drop down into very soft, pretty waves. In fact, I’m currently on day 3 with these waves and they look so naturally tousled that I’ll be sorry to wash them out this evening!

Excuse the lighting in this pic! I’d just come back from work and there wasn’t a lot of natural light left.

Is the Creative Curl worth your money? Yes – if you’re like me and want maximum results without having to heat style your hair everyday. I’ve had similar results with other curling irons but they usually don’t last this long. I also didn’t use any curl hold spray (though ghd recommends doing so) but I did protect my hair with Bumble & Bumble’s Invisible Oil Primer. There’s a little hairspray holding everything together but that’s pretty much it!

I  know that the range isn’t cheap but they’re reasonably priced for a good quality product and from my personal experience with everything ghd that I own – they will last ages.

Have you bought or are thinking of buying anything from the ghd Curve range? I’d love to hear what you think of the Creative Curl or any other tools in the range and whether they worked for you. Leave me a comment below.

Chantelle x