Bad Weather? Good Wardrobe!

I know what I like.

I’m not the first person to say that a person’s clothes are an extension of your personality, but just because the likes of Valentino, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior have supplied us with some outrageous styles and designs on the catwalk already this season, does not mean that I will be exchanging my outfits for Gothic, lace dresses with high-ruffle necklines and bold-pattern jumpsuits which look more like an optical illusion than an outfit! Nor will I be walking the streets of Swansea with a supermodel hanging from my neck (you’ve got to see it to believe it)!

One colour I really have got on board with thought his Autumn is brown. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore a bold colour. It’s loud, makes a statement and when used correctly, can exude supreme confidence – much like myself… (on occasion!) But there’s something about brown, that no matter what is going on on the catwalks or what is being sold on the high street, it always feel right – maybe for the obvious reason that Autumn is a ‘brown’ month anyway. As a creature of habit however, I tend to choose browns and greys for September, October and November as a sign that I’m calming down after a wild summer. I was born in August so naturally both I and my outfits are at their most flamboyant in the summer months. Is this actual science? Not a clue! But it makes some sort of sense doesn’t it?

The miserable, wet but mild weather we’re having at the moment also seems to be having an effect on my wardrobe. There’s dressing for the weather and then there’s dressing for the way weather makes you FEEL.

Another factor in my Autumn fashion choices is my three-week long trip to St. Tropez every September. I’m pretty much obsessed with outdoor markets there. Last month I visited five different markets, and each more than once. Every year I spend countless Euros on things that I know no one else will have back home. Not because they’re not stylish – on the contrary! These are clothes, shoes, scarves, bags etc. which are one of only a few ever made. What is not to love about this? Prices are low, quality is pretty good and the clothes themselves are just different enough to what we get back home to be interesting yet still fashionable. Plus, if they’re good enough for the rich folk on 30 million euro yachts in St. Tropez harbour, they’re good enough for me. I’m going to share with you a handful of my favourite, non-labelled but ‘one of a kind’ buys from this year. (Except the last one which was courtesy of River Island!

The 'Pocahontas' Dress

The ‘Pocahontas’ Dress

The dress in action!

The dress in action on the streets of St. Tropez

When Busy Floaty Met Simple Long Suede...

When Busy Floaty Met Simple Long Suede…

Mild Autumn = Chunky Browns

Mild Autumn = Chunky Browns

When Winter Comes, I'm Ready!

When Winter Comes, I’m Ready!

Finally, I couldn't finish this blog without inserting my FAVOURITE accessory from a fab summer 2015, my SUNNIES!

Finally, I couldn’t finish this blog without inserting my FAVOURITE accessory from a fab summer 2015, my SUNNIES!

This Girl Knows Her Curl

Up until the age of 14, I had long, beautiful, silky, straight brown hair. It was a dream, but then I turned 15 and my hair life was turned upside down. It was goodbye smooth, sleek hair, shampoo advert hair and hello dry, slightly insane curls! (Thanks Dad! :p) Bearing in mind this was in 1998 and straightener popularity didn’t really kick in until 2001. I look at photos of my final years in comprehensive school and all I see is hair.

Since then, I have tested hundreds, possibly even thousands of products in the hope of finding something strong enough to tame ‘the beast.’ After years of hair trials and crazy money spent, I have finally found the products that I would be happy to spend the rest of my life with. I often get compliments on my hair which is something I thought would NEVER happen to me. I’m hoping that any ladies out there who suffer this same hair issue will benefit from this blog. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about.

My most recent discovery is that of a perfect hair mask. The photo below shows my top 3.

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3rd Place – Argan Oil Hydrating Hair Mask (centre in photo)

I use this when I wear my hair curly as opposed to straight – you’ll know why once you’ve rinsed it. It keeps my curls tamed before I’ve even added any other product. Leave it in for 7 minutes (for optimum results) then rinse out. I don’t follow it with a conditioner because I never feel it’s needed. Price varies for this product but you can get it from Amazon for approx. £2.

2nd Place – Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Protein Pack (left in photo)

I love using this product and not just for the divine coconut smell. It’s a perfect conditioner substitute which I leave on for 20 minutes. It’s intense but you just know it’s doing you good. Plus any company that is against animal testing is alright with me! I paid £2 for it in Sally’s but you can also get it online from Superdrug. Use it before straightening you hair.

1st Place – Hask Argan Oil from Morocco (right in photo)

My all-time favourite hair mask. It’s super strength treatment works wonders on dry hair and leaves your hair smelling beautiful for days. I use this mask as a conditioner substitute and leave it on for 10 minutes – any more would be too much. Use the entire pack once a week and you’ll see how quickly your hair starts to grow! I use this mask if I’m straightening my hair as it makes it super shiny. It definitely takes the hair mask crown. Boots have recently started to stock this.

Following use of the Hask Argan Oil Mask, I run OGX Renewing Argan Oil through my hair (see below), root to tip (but concentrating more on the tips). I used to use £50 Moroccan Oils but expense issue aside, it worked in the exact same way as this little beauty.

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Once my hair is blow-dried using my favourite ever hair dryer, the Babyliss Big Hair Spinning Brush (no other hair dryer will do), I run John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength Serum (see below) through my hair before straightening. I don’t actually think this serum was invented to be used in this way but it WORKS! My hair is completely protected from the 200 degree heat of my straighteners and it gives a sleek and glossy finish.

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For the days you wish to embrace your curls – and ladies, sometimes you should – Moroccan Oil Intense Curl Cream (see below) is a dream solution for your hair. Throw out your mousses that make your hair feel like something out of a Walkers packet. This cream gives me defined and smooth curls everytime. For curls, leave to dry naturally and for beach waves, run your fingers through your hair from root to tip halfway through the drying period to separate strands and calm the curl. I bought mine from Amazon for approx. £22. Trust me, it’s worth every penny and last AGES!

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Finally, I’m going to recommend Tres Semme’s Luxurious Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner. It’s not stupidly expensive but the after affects would make you think it was! It really adds moisture to dry, damaged hair without adding too much that it makes the roots look greasy. I refuse to wash my hair in other shampoo and conditioner… unless i’m using a hair mask of course!

Curly Stacey

Curly Stacey

Straight Stacey

Straight Stacey

So there we go. I’m using my 17 years of experience in tackling crazy hair and I’m choosing to share my secrets with the world. Hopefully i’ve helped you and given you incentive to get the most out of both your curly and straight looks! Now go, enjoy playing around with these products – you will NOT be sorry!

A New Me, A New Blog

Over the past few years, I have committed a cardinal sin in blogging. I have simply not blogged enough. I might as well have just TWEETED my thoughts. It’s taken me until now to realise that this blog is a tool that should be treated more valuably and with more respect. I LOVE talking to the world and although some of my close friends might disagree, I don’t do it enough! Why do we settle with just talking to the people around us – the ones in our lives? Just imagine how quickly we’d advance as a planet with all seven billion people talking to each other! OK, extreme I know, but I’m a dreamer and I like to dream BIG.

This blog so far has concentrated on all things CRICKET but with cricket season here in the UK coming to a close, my attention is turning back fully to the other things that interest me including music, films, celebs, current affairs, food, make up, hair products and styles, nail art and varnish, fashion and matters close to my heart.

Us women are very curious creatures. We love to know about what’s new and popular. We love to read about tried and tested products and scrawl the internet for ideas of how to mix up our styles, ready to impress our partners/co-workers or even just to test and stretch our creativity. Anyone who knows me or follows my @LilMissAshes persona on Twitter knows that I am a woman of many words. I have my opinions and often think I know what’s best. I will therefore be metaphorically throwing this blog into a blender to see what comes out.

Stand by for a new me…

meSMgsU