Happy Autumn (or Happy Fall, if you hail from overseas)!
Autumn is my absolute favourite season. I love basking in the sunshine and spending nights lounging out on the decking sipping cider on balmy summer nights, but Autumn has a very special place in my heart.
Nothing appeals more than curling up under a warm blanket with a steaming mug of tea, surrounded by flickering candles and a general feeling of cosiness. As the shorter days and colder nights are starting to draw in, I thought now would be an ideal time to share some of my autumn essentials with you.
Around this time of year the cold weather has a drastic effect on my skin, and my face usually suffers the worst. There are two products that I feel make all the difference in keeping my face moisturised and pain free. I’ve mentioned the Boots Botanics Triple Age Renewal Smoothing Facial Oil previously but I’m going to bring it up again because I really do love this product and the Botanics range. You can read more about this oil on my skincare post here.
As well as this I have started using the Lacura Caviar Illumination Day Cream – my lovely mum passed this on for me to try and I am hooked already. It’s a rich, thick formula that glides on my skin and sinks in super easily. It contains caviar extract, a well-known anti-ageing active ingredient and is rich in vitamins and minerals. I do need to keep using it daily so that I can properly judge the anti-ageing affects, but so far I find it keeps my skin moisturised all day even under makeup and at just £6.99 for a 50ml pot it is a complete steal.
I’m a sucker for candles and anything scented that I can burn all year round and find it hard not to go overboard as the Halloween and Christmas scents are released. There is only one brand that does it for me, and that is Yankee Candle. I don’t currently have any of the jars (sob) so I’m burning a mix of the votive candles and wax melts. I bought so many Christmas wax melts last winter that I’m trying to use them up before I purchase any more, and I’m down to the last three – hurrah!
From the three that I currently have left, ‘Christmas Morning’ is the one I am looking forward to using most. It has a strong pine smell without being too overwhelming and is ideal for autumn and winter as a whole, not just for the festive period. It’s comforting and calming and one melt seems to last a few days, burned for roughly four hours at a time.
I’d always avoided the votives in the past as I convinced myself they were rubbish, but I’m pleasantly surprised by how good they are. Just one small one burning in a medium sized room gives off a strong scent that lingers. I love the fresh, light scents for the bedroom with ‘Shea butter and vanilla’ being a strong contender to knock ‘Pink sands’ from the top of my favourites list.
As much as I love pastels and summer nudes, when it comes to make-up I cannot wait to break out the berry, plum and gold tones.
My lips dry out very easily and become cracked and sore if I don’t take care of them in the cold weather. I’ve tried a massive variety of balms, scrubs and treatments but nothing prevents this as well as the Blistex Relief Cream (£2.69 for 5g).
I’ll pop this on every morning after cleansing and then again every evening before bed. It does take a few minutes to properly absorb into my lips but they feel so much better afterwards and it creates a really nice, smooth base for any lip products – and I have quite a few that I use regularly!
From the left to right, we have the H&M Pure Lustre Gloss in ‘Currant Affair’. I’m not a fan of glossy lipsticks or tints but sometimes I like to give my lips a break from matte products so I have been giving this a go. It is not the best product – the applicator is long and a flat, rounded shape which makes it hard to evenly apply it without getting it all over my face. Once it’s on it does need blending to even the colour out but it is a great autumn tone and has a slight shimmer to it that would look great in the evenings.
For a bit of a change I switch back and forth between the MAC Matte lipsticks and NYX soft matte lip creams. I have two of each in different colours – ‘Diva’ and ‘Mehr’ in MAC, and ‘Stockholm’ and ‘Copenhagen’ in NYX.
The shade ‘Mehr’ is my absolute favourite, and the formula of the MAC matte lipsticks is wonderful. It glides on easily and the colour lasts a good few hours before needing to be topped up. ‘Diva’ is a deep burgundy that is perfect for fall, but I often need to pair this with a lip pencil to stop it bleeding and fading (as with all darker coloured lipsticks I’ve tried).
Even thought I tend to pack away the nudes as it we move further along in the year, the NYX soft matte lip cream in ‘Stockholm’ is the one that I am happy to wear every day, as it is a great day time shade for a toned down make up look. The shade ‘Copenhagen’ is fairly new to me, but I’m already enamoured with it. It is a beautiful dark wine colour and once applied it lasts for roughly four to five hours. It is very similar to the MAC lipsticks in the way that it doesn’t dry my lips out in the slightest and has great staying power. If you’re looking for a rich autumn shade then this is totally for you.
I only started to incorporate eyeshadow into my daily look earlier this year and I’m not very adventurous just yet, but I do appreciate a bit of sparkle for some added oomph! I covet the ‘Girls on Film’ palette by Makeup Revolution but was recently gifted the Technic Bronzing Eyeshadow baked set and it has snuck it’s way into my every day make up.
It features six highly pigmented bronzing shades that have a really delicate texture and go on great with a soft eyeshadow brush. I layered the darker copper over a standard neutral shadow base with a little of the lightest colour in the inner corner to create a subtle, suitable for work look and it stayed in place for well over eight hours – very, very impressive for the price of £3.95 for this cute little palette!
I’m currently trying to grow my nails out and need to keep them painted constantly to keep them from breaking (despite using hardener) so I make sure that I’ve got plenty of different colours to cycle through.
From left to right, we have Rimmel London’s Lycra Pro in shade 431 ‘Stormy Skies’, Model’s Own Liquid Metal Effect in ‘Chrome Silver’, Maybelline’s 60 Second Super Shine in 345 ‘Black Cherries’ and OPI’s Nail Lacquer in ‘Christmas Gone Plaid’. I won’t say too much about these – just that they all go on great, dry quickly and have long lasting shine, even without a top coat!
I have too many blankets and throws to count but my top two in rotation as it gets colder are both warm, snuggly and from IKEA!
The grey, scalloped edge Polarvide throw is a perfect size to wrap up in and cost a very wallet friendly £3. Made from fleece material, it is super soft and warm – in fact I bought this in both the grey and cream so that I always have one to use when the other is in the wash. It’s quite thin so it folds up very well for storage, and the neutral tone goes with even the brightest bedding or couch cushions.
I wanted something a little thicker for the really chilly evenings, so I very regularly steal the wife’s Ormhassel throw from her to use myself. It is mustard yellow with white and grey stripes running through and made from 100% knitted acrylic. It’s only 10cm longer than the Polarvide but it is quite stretchy and has a lot of give, so you can really bundle up in it. It is slightly pricier at £12 but I still think that’s very decent for a throw that looks and feels comfortable.
Who can resist the soothing hug of hot drink at this time of year? Whether it’s tea, coffee or hot Ribena you will more often than not find me sipping on something remedying. At the minute, I’m loving shots of espresso with a little sweetener and a tiny dash of milk first thing in the morning. If I have time to drop by Starbucks before work I’ll opt for a Pumpkin Spiced or gingerbread Latte as a treat.
Now I love a good brew as much as the next Brit, but lately I’ve been trying to cut back on my caffeine intake so decided to try green tea. I can’t drink green tea on it’s own as to me it tastes incredibly bitter, but Twinings have brought out a few flavoured ones and they actually taste good.
I bought the Gingerbread and Cherry Bakewell flavours, both of which I love equally. The flavouring is very subtle but the Cherry Bakewell especially comes across fantastically. If you wanted to try something different but can’t stand plain green tea, I’d definitely recommended this to start with. I also picked up Tetley’s Super Green Tea Boost in ‘Berry Burst’ – this is fruity and stronger than Twinings, and I like being able to mix the two brands up if I fancy a change.
And finally, a few wardrobe staples and outfits that I would say are essential to me for the colder months!
The first I usually get away with wearing before it becomes cold enough to need a heavy jacket, and is made up of black skinny jeans paired with a thick checked shirt normally worn open over a plain vest. With the addition of some leather low tops and accessories, this makes up my first outfit.
This shirt in particular is from H&M Mens range (£14.99) and is made from thick brushed cotton flannel. It’s long and I went for a larger size so I can wear vests and t-shirts underneath. The leather low top Converse (£54.99) are a life saver for the rainy months – they’re waterproof, durable and comfortable and make a nice change from my precious boots when I can get away with wearing them.
For outfit two, these South High Rise ‘Ella’ jeans (£25) are a perfect fit and haven’t faded through wearing and washing almost every weekday. The boots are the Chelsea Doc Martins (£110) that I always wear with thick socks to make sure my feet are nice and toasty.
George at ASDA have just released a lovely range of coats and my even lovelier wife surprised me with this beautiful patterned blanket coat (£25). Ultra cosy with a long line cut leaving it just above my knees, it hangs open with a waterfall front and lots of extra material. I did think without some kind of buttons or a zip that it would leave me freezing, but it is so warm and the additional material means that I can bundle it around myself for extra cosiness.
Lastly, a classic jeans and over sized jumper ensemble complete with chunky boots, dainty accessories and a snug parka. I regularly borrow Alexa’s jumpers and a fisherman’s knitted style from George at ASDA (£12) is a perfect loose fit for a relaxed look. I always wear a scarf during autumn and winter and I am loving this blanket scarf from Dorothy Perkins (£17). Patterned pink and green it compliments the khaki of this quilted Brave Souls parka (£49.99) that I like to throw on when the dreary weather calls for it.
What warms your heart during these brisk Autumn days? Is there anything that you just cannot live without through the biting fall months? Drop me a message and let me know, and I’ll see you in a week for a spooky Halloween themed surprise!