6 Key Staples for Autumn 2014

You know Autumn is here when it gets darker earlier and you go to check the time and realize it’s only 8pm. Now that there’s chills in the air, it’s time to change our wardrobe to go with the colder season. Think chunky knits, thick coats and statement boots. Investing in autumn staples is important especially places likes England where the weather is unpredictable.

AW14 Key Staples

1.  River Island Light Blue Oversized Coat, £80

This coat brings the summer vibes over to autumn with its light blue colour palette. Oversized in style and on trend, there’s enough room for layering and features a single button and two jet pockets.

2. Missguided Tartan Shift Dress, £24.99

What I love about this little number is the tartan “Ghana must go print” . It’s classic and pays homage to the 60s style shift dress but with a fresh approach. Wear with a pair of thick tights to keep your legs warmed up.

H&M White  Jumper and Warehouse Chelsea Cutout Boots

 

 

3. H&M White Knit Cable Jumper, £14.99

How cute is this jumper?!  White isn’t a colour most people would go for when it comes to autumn shopping but once styled up with a pair of jeans or a skater skirt it may give you a change of heart. And for £14.99 it’s a steal!

4. Warehouse Brown Cutout Chelsea Boots, £65

No autumn wardrobe is complete with boots. From ankle to knee-length styles, you’re spoilt for choice. These cutout Chelsea style boots is made from premium leather so it’s guaranteed to last for seasons to come.

African-print-umbrella

5.  New Look Red Zip Bowler Bag, £22.99

You can never go wrong with a bright red bag as it will add that pop of colour during the dull days. It’s roomy and perfect for those daily essentials. You can even wear it across the body if you fancy.

6. Yendi Umbrella, £26.82

If you live in the UK you MUST have an umbrella otherwise you’re on your own. I love this African print style by South African brand Babatunde. Would make you shine even when it’s pouring!

Do you have any autumn staples you swear by? What do you love most about autumn? What are some of your favourite pieces from this post?

 

Stella Jean SS15 Collection

Milan Fashion Week Fashion isn’t complete with Stella Jean. She’s print royalty and I’m such a huge fan of her designs even though I’ve said this a million times! I had look through her SS15 collection and she never disappoints! She’s always bringing something new to the table while still keeping to her true style. There’s more clashing prints and beautiful colours in mannish, ladylike and tomboyish silhouettes that transports you to a tropical paradise. I would love to attend her ishow someday.  That would be a dream come true!

Stella Jean SS15

MFW Stella Jean

Photo credit: Luca Sorrentino  and Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana

 Are you a fan of Stella Jean? Are you fan of prints and can you see yourself wearing any of these designs? What has been your favourite shows from fashion month?

Alassala Moroccan Black Soap Review

On Monday I reviewed the Foero Cleansing brush and as promised, today’s post will be focusing Alassala Moroccan black soap. I’ve never used a black soap or heard of Alassala before so was keen to try it out and would give me a chance to explore various skin care products.

Moroccan Black Soap

C/O Alassala Moroccan Black Soap, £12.99 (200g)

Soap features:

  • Alassala black soap is a 100% plant product made from an olive oil pulp and organic Argan Oil making it rich in Vitamin 
  • Ingredients: Potassium Olivate, Aqua, Sodium, Potassium Hydroxyde, Argan Oil 
  • A natural emollient. Exfoliator and moisturizer
  • Helps to cleans/detoxify your skin leaving a smooth and silky finish
  • Claims to be the secret to a clean, healthy, radiant skin
  • Removes dead cells and toxins
  • Reduces dryness, flakiness and improves skin elasticity and firmness
  • Suitable for all skin types – particularly dry to mature skin

Morrocan-Soap-with-Argan-Oi

At first glance I like the jar packaging as it’s compact and doesn’t take much room. The packaging design is simple and blends with the colour of the soap- giving it an ethnic feel to it. The soap itself isn’t black but more of a golden/brown colour and beautiful natural smell that isn’t overpowering.

Alassala-Moroccan-Black-Soa

African-Black-Soap

Black-Soap-Swatch

To apply the soap on your skin, make sure that your bath/shower is hot and steamy so that your skin moist enough for the soap to really work. I applied to my face and it literally melted on my skin. Like butter on hot bread! Once applied you leave for 10 minutes. The application suggests to use The Moroccan Exfoliating Glove but didn’t have one so instead my Foreo skin cleansing brush to finish of the treatment. After the first use my skin felt smooth and rejuvenated and  with the results. I would rate the soap 10/10 and would highly recommend to those who love spa like natural skin care products without the overpowering smell with no strange ingredients. It’s a perfect way to treat yourself especially during the colder months when the weather can really be harsh on your skin. 

Have you heard of Alassala before and tried any of their products? Are you a fan of black soaps and if so have you used any?

 

 

6 Embellished Cuff Bracelets for your Wrists

Here’s another jewellery themed Shopping Trolley. If you missed my stacked rings post you can check that out. Today I’ll be focusing on embellished cuff bracelets featuring colourful stones and sequins that will add that glamour to your outfit. I came across some beautiful designs in Company magazine and thought to do a post with some gorgeous pieces for jewellery lovers out there that will have your back account screaming. Are you a fan of embellished cuffs?  Which designs are your favourite?

6-Embellished-Cuff-Bracelet

1. Stella Jean at Farfetch Unica Pineapple Cuff, £171.14 | 2. Dorothy Perkins Pastel Stone Cuff, £12.50 | 3. Miss Selfridge Rhinestone Flower Cuff, £10 | 4. Topshop Thread Wrapped Cut-out Cuff, £14.50 |  5. Chelsea Doll Gold Jewel Embelished Cuff Bracelet, £6 | 6. ASOS Back Stage Cuff Bracelet, £10

ASOS Africa AW14 Collection

Online fashion retailer ASOS is back again with a smash hit collection for ASOS Africa. If you’re a regular reader on of my blog, you may know that I’m a huge fan of ASOS Africa so I’m delighted to write about their latest collection once again. This year ASOS Africa is celebrating its tenth season (gone so fast!) featuring a real statement collection featuring autumnal African florals, kanga prints and Jacquard on beautiful separates from the classic pencil skirt, dresses and this season’s duster coat. AMAZING!

ASOS Africa collection ASOS African prints ASOS

Photo credit: ASOS

Are you a fan of ASOS Africa? Do you think they’ve stepped up for their 10th season? Which pieces from the AW14 collection are on your wish list?

Foreo Luna Mini Turquoise Cleansing Brush

When I attended AFWL last month, in the goody bag there was a interesting item that got my attention. It was a Foreo Luna Mini. Beauty is something that I’m still trying to get my head round so I did a google search and learnt that it’s a cleansing brush that does wonders to your skin. Foreo describes the brush as “a revolutionary new skincare concept and the world’s first T-Sonic facial-cleansing brush for a deep gentle clean in just 1 minute”. The brush has had a lot of coverage in the press and recently won Elle Sweden Beauty Awards 2014.

Foreo-Skin-Cleansing-Brush

C/O Foreo Luna Mini Cleanser Harvey Nichols Edition, £99 | comes in five colours and has a 2-year limited warranty and 10-Year Quality guarantee

Claims:

  • Cleaner, brighter, healthier skin
  • New way of cleansing that is deep and gentle
  • Skin is freed of dirt, oil and makeup residue
  • Pores are cleansed of blemish-causing impurities

Foreo-Luna-Mini-Turquoise-C

The brush comes in a stylish plastic case and features a non abrasive silicone touch points that are soooo soft and suitable for all skin types. I’ve always wanted a brush for my face as I have horrible pores on my  cheeks and need to step up my face regime so this brush came to the rescue. A better alternative to using facial wipes! Before first time use, the brush has to be charged for one hour with a USB cable (included in the case) and can be used up to 300 times before it needs charging again. The cleansing brush is obviously meant to be used with a cleanser but decided to use a Moroccan black soap ( review coming at the end of the week) instead for a more spa like treatment.

Foreo-Luna-Mini

I used the brush in a gentle, gliding motion and you feel the vibrations against your skin and there’s no need to apply pressure. It comes in two speeds but just used the 1st. After using the brush I noticed that there wasn’t any soap residue so cleaning it a breeze! It’s travel size friendly so you can practically take it anywhere and really did leave my skin smooth and clean.

After the first use I would rate this brush 10/10 and look forward to using it more in the next couple of weeks with my cleanser. For £99 it’s an investment and slighty cheaper than the Clarisonic brush but would recommend to those who want to up their skincare routine.

Have you heard of Foreo? Do you own the brush? What are your thoughts on the cleanser brush? Would you make the investment? 

 

Three Ways to Wear: Ankle Boots

My Shopping Trolley this week features three ways to wear ankle boots for winter. It’s a versatile and evergreen style that can be worn for any occasion. I’ve styled three different looks below to incorporate into your winter wardrobe with a mix of African prints. Are you a fan of ankle boots? Which of the three looks are your favourite? Have you made any boot purchases?

How-to-wear-ankle-boots-for

Outifit one: 1. Christine Brown Ghana at My Asho Bogolan African Print Blazer, £125 | 2. Topshop MOTO Blue Black Wash Jeans, £38 | 3. River Island Black Buckle Trim Ankle Boots, £60

Outfit two: 1. Bestow Elan Blue Shrimp Green Bandeau Dress, £145 | 2. Wallis Red Stud Earrings, £4.55 | 3. Forever 21 Faux Suede Booties, £16.99

Outfit three: 1. Agnes and Lola Purple Vinatge Patterned Shirt, £39 | 2. F&F Grey Pencil Skirt, £10 | 3. Dune Black Pointed Toe Kitten Heel Ankle Boot, £82

 

Nubian Skin Launches Underwear for Women of Colour

Underwear-for-women-of-colo

Photo credit: Nubian Skin

Last week I discovered a new brand that will change the underwear industry for the better. Nubian Skin is an underwear company that specialises in nude hosiery and underwear for women of colour. I’m not talking about caucasian nude but brown nude that will perfectly match black women’s skin. There are four shades to choose from including chocolate, caramel and cinnamon. According their Twitter, Nuban Skin will launch in October and international shipping will be available. It’s such a clever idea and won’t be surprised if everything sells out. Be sure to sign up to their mailing list to be notified when their website goes live. 

11 Cool Stackable Rings for your Jewellery Box

My Shopping Trolley this week features super cool stackable rings to decorate your fingers with. I’m a huge fan of rings and feel naked without them. For me it just makes your outfit complete. From gold delights to subtle slivers, there’s plenty of style to choose from. They’re effortless and perfect for any occasion. I’m in love with the rose gold ring from Ted Baker. Will be adding it to my every growing wish list!

Stackable-Fashion-Rings

1. Topshop Premium Rhinestone Ring Pack, £30 | 2. New Look Sliver Bow and Heart Ring Stack, £3.99  | 3. Ted Baker Rose Gold Cluster Ring, £45 | 4. M&S Gold Duo Rings, £18 | 5. Forever21 Stackable Midi Ring Set, £3.50 | 6. Miss Selfridge Assorted Rings, £10 | 7. Talullah Tu Gold Wish Word Ring, £7 | 8. Warehouse Wide Mix Stack Ring Set, £10 | 9. Accessorize Wonder Woman Stacking Set, £10 | 10. Dorothy Perkins Sliver Ring Pack, £6.50 | 11. H&M 6 Pack Ring, £5.99

 Have you got a jewellery collection? Are you a fan of rings? Which stackable rings have you got your eye on?

3 African Fashion Brands for Plus Size Women

As much as I love fashion and style, there’s always been that debate about plus size fashion and women. It’s a topic that has been discussed to death and to be honest it’s getting old. Personally, women come in all shapes and sizes and you don’t have to be skinny to be healthy and beautiful. As long as you take care of yourself and love your own skin, nothing else matters. Below are 3 lovely African clothing labels that cater to plus size women. I thought it would be great to share for those who are struggling to find plus size African clothing.

1. Dearcurves

I’ve written about Dearcurves before so won’t go into too much detail. Founded by model and designer Linda Idegwu, she creates beautiful contemporary African inspired prints in lightweight fabrics. Dearcurves actually showed her latest collection at Africa Fashion Week 2014 and will be available to buy real soon.

Dearcurves at Africa Fashion Week 2014

Photo credit: Africa Fashion Week London

2. Rue 114

Ghanaian designer Serwah Asante launched Rue 114 for women who believe every shape and size is beautiful. Her latest collection features a soft colour palette combing a mix of modern and traditional fabrics for example plastic and African prints with Adinkra symbols to create something different from the usual styles. It’s versatile and brings a refreshing outlook on African fashion.

Rue114

Photo credit: Rue 114

3. Nakimuli

Established in 2009 by Tennille McMillan, Nakimuli is fueled by imagination and goes beyond traditions of women’s fashion. Nakimuli has a special line for plus size women called Nakimuli Curvy filled with bold prints and sexy separates and  encourages women to embrace  individuality and to become your own trendsetter. Nakimuli does international shipping on request.

Nakimuli Curvy

Photo credit: Nakimuli

Do you struggle to find plus size clothing? Which plus size brands are your favourite? Should more African designers tap into the plus size fashion market?

5 Beauty Subscription Boxes for Women of Colour

Beauty subscription boxes have grown in popularity ever since the launch of Glossybox and Birchbox. Almost every blogger jumped on the beauty box bandwagon (see what I did there?) with my Bloglovin feed flooded with review after review.

But with all the hype involved, I noticed that there wasn’t a lot of products specifically targeted at women of colour or a beauty subscription box just for women of colour until I came across Glowwboxx earlier this year. There was another one called Be Box but has sadly closed down. I did a bit of a Google search and found a couple of companies (mainly US based)  that do beauty boxes for women of colour. I read while back that the market over in the US is bigger than the one in the UK which is shocking because according to Mintel, the market for black beauty products in the UK is estimated to be worth over £45 million, with hair care at £29.2 million. This gave me an idea to do a post on beauty subscription companies and here are the results below:

Angel Beauty Box

Photo credit: Angel Beauty Box

1. Angel Beauty Box

Based in Atlanta, the pink themed beauty subscription box is aimed at women on the go who want to look good. Simply fill out the beauty profile to receive beauty products catered to you, pick a subscription (price range from $10-$55) and Angel Beauty will do the rest. While browsing around, be sure to check out their magazine with informatuon on products featured in their boxes. What I love about Angel Beauty Box is that there’s a  special beauty box for university students. Perfect for students on a budget!

Black Beauty Subscription Box

Photo credit: Black Girl Beauty

2. Black Girl Beauty

When I clicked on their link on Google, I instantly fell in love with the beauty box design. It’s clean and simple and the colour theme runs through the website. Black Girl Beauty  is tailored to meet your specific beauty needs. You’ll find luxury, premium and drug store brands including Origins, Morgan Taylor and Mixed Chicks. The subscription ranges from $20-$240.

Glowwbox-beauty-box-for-wom

Photo credit: Glowwbox

3. Glowwbox

Glowwbox is no stranger on my blog and recently collaborated with MIZANI to create a limited edition box.  The subscription starts from £10 a month which will give you 4-5  full and trial sized beauty products including haircare, skincare and makeup.

My-Brown-Box

Photo credit: My Brown Box

4. My Brown Box

My Brown Box is a new company based in LA. There’s not much information on their website as they’re launching soon but you can sign up to be notified when the website is up and running. There’s also a video to hear more about My Brown Box.

Onyx-Beauty-Box

Photo credit: Onyx

5. We are Onyx

Last but not least is We are Onyx. It’s a colourful beauty box and offers the best in black beauty. Not only will you receive 4-6 full size and deluxe beauty samples but you can buy the full sizes straight from the website. You can customize your box and there’s even tutorials beauty tutorials from installing clip-ins, DIY beauty and contouring. Beauty shopping and looking good made easy!

 

I do hope that these US brands ship internationally someday as it would bring an even bigger market. Are you a fan of beauty subscription boxes? Are you subscribed to any? Do you think that there should be more beauty subscription boxes for women of colour in the UK?

 

 

Brighten up your Home with Bespoke Binny

African-inspired home furnishings brand Bespoke Binny has released her new collection for AW14. Founded by Natalie Yaa Obenwa Thompson, her signature colourful wax prints will brighten up your home all year round and will lift up your spirits especially during the colder days. From cushions to lampshades, everything is handmade and will bring both comfort and style to your home. My favourite pieces are the scented aromatherapy pillows – ideal for those who have difficulty sleeping or simply want to relax.

Bespoke Binny AW14Photo credit: Bespoke Binny | Price range from £25-£50

Are you a fan of home decor? Which pieces from the AW14 collection do you fancy?

P.S – Bespoke Binny will be exhibiting at the Home trade show at Kensington Olympia this month where Natalie will be debuting a new range of designs to retail buyers. This would be a great opportunity to see her pieces up close and personal. 

 

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