LOTD Mini Lookbook


Hey Guys,

I was recently contacted by the lovely team at LOTD to pick a few of my fav pieces to style up! I had a brilliant time searching through the website to find all the best bits and bobs. Here are a couple of the items I received. Scroll to the end for a link to a YouTube video where I talk through my entire haul!

Middle Temple - London's Hidden Historical Gem

Hey Guys, 

I was recently invited down to Middle Temple, a historical venue in the heart of London, for a tour of the beautiful building, followed by lunch. 
Here is my little photo-diary from the day...

Decorating My Corner Space


Hey Guys,

When it comes to creating a cosy living space, I tend to work section by section in my apartment. My beauty table recently went through a transformation, as well as my bedroom. 
This week I set myself the task of styling this small corner space. I was helped by the wonderful Photowall, who are an online canvas and wall-art supplier. Make sure you keep reading for a cheeky 20% discount code!

Since we're on the subject, allow me to introduce you to my newest piece of art. This abstract watercolour from Photowall blends beautifully into the cream walls of my apartment. I love the grey and yellow tones that are perfectly coordinated with my sofa cushions (just out of shot). Although the greys are quite dark, I love how calm this print feels. 

Luxury Gifting with Amara Living

 

Hey Guys, 

It is officially December, which means a few things:

- Cosy Jumpers
- Pom Pom Beanie Hats
- Hot Chocolates
-Christmas Films
-Food (and lots of it!)
- and... PRESENTS!

I love shopping for myself, almost as much as I love shopping for other people! (I'm sure I was a clothing buyer in a previous life). So this time of year is one of my favs!
I don't know about you, but as I get older, I get less tolerant with crowds and queues and find myself turning to online shops more than ever.

Styling Space Boots

close up image of silver mirror boots

Hey Guys, 

I have been loving a good statement boot recently! From my gorgeous red booties from PrettyLittleThing and now these bad boys! I must admit, when I first saw them, I got major Ariana Grande Break Free vibes, but I wasn't sure if I could rock them. Turns out, I can!


A Unique Christmas Meal with Mango Tree, London


Hey Guys, 

I'm sure we can all agree on the importance of good food this festive season. I am no stranger to "eating outside the box" and love experimenting with new foods. Mango Tree never fails to impress me with their unique twist on traditional Thai cuisine. I last visited Mango Tree in Harrods and wrote all about my incredible experience. Today, I am bringing you all the tasty deets from the Mango Tree Christmas Menu
"Our Festive menu launches this week! We are offering an exciting pan-Asian alternative to traditional Christmas dining with an extensive and diverse menu."

Unapologetically Bold

Eboni wearing bright red trousers and a black leather jacket

When it comes to fashion, I have had one heck of a style journey! When I look back at my style evolution, one thing can be said - though I've not always been the most stylish, my experimental nature has always existed. 
From making a necklace out of Mousetrap board game mice (true story) to leopard print and kimono tops, I have always been true to myself and worn what makes me happy. 

Pampered at Polished


Hey Guys,

We all need to take a little time out for some self-care every now and again. Be that a mental health break, or indulging in a Netflix marathon, "me" time can be so necessary. Last weekend was the chance for me to feel a little pampered as I head to Polished in Dulwich for a complimentary mani-pedi!

10 Thoughts I had during my first Meditation class

Eboni leaning against a tree wearing an autumnal outfit

So I tried a new thing - Meditation.

I recently won a competition on the St Martin's Lane Instagram page for a Meditation class at Yotopia, led by Dirish Shaktidas. I have a few friends who swear by meditation and I sometimes do guided meditations on YouTube to help me sleep, so I thought - great!

My New Hair Routine + Hair Care Secrets


Hey Guys,

With the colder temperatures creeping in and party season fast approaching, there really isn't a better time to take care of your hair! Summer can be harsh on our hair - the extra heat and sun exposure can be so damaging. And I don't know about you, but I find that I do a lot more styling with heat tools during the summer (probably to combat the humidity and for those sexy summer dates that I didn't have)... Anyway!

I was kindly invited down to Live True Vauxhall salon to get a hair refresh. A cut followed by a blow dry is exactly what I needed to get my hair back to a healthy state!
I have super curly, mixed-race hair, that requires a knowledgeable hand to handle! Live True hooked me up with Claire from their Vauxhall branch. Claire is a curly hair genius! Seriously. She gave me heaps of tips and tricks that work well with our hair type. Keep reading to discover the secrets...


"That's why her hair's so big, it's full of secrets"


We started off with a shampoo and condition, naturally. 
Claire's first secret - shampoo the scalp first! 
Shampoo tends to cling to our hair at the middle and ends, it can be difficult to really clean and exfoliate the scalp by applying the shampoo to the hair itself. Claire says that by applying the product to the scalp, dry, no water, we can guarantee the scalp is properly washed. The shampoo will lather up as normal once you get under the water, then rinse!

Sulphate-free products used during washing:





I have been getting regular trims for the past year, however I am yet to get an actual "style" cut in. Claire was ready to take on the task and I trusted her! We took a little length from around my face to create more shape, and then cut a couple of little layers into the back to make sure that my hair had a great shape when curly and when straight!
Claire cut my hair whilst it was wet and curly. This made it easier to see the shape that my hair fell into naturally, and meant she wouldn't accidentally over cut it. Curly hair tends to spring up once dry. 


Despite having my hair blow dried at the end (as a lil treat), I loved seeing the new shape. I have been wearing my hair natural and curly recently, as opposed to straightening it. I can't wait to wash my hair at home and style it curly. 




Next, it was time to blow dry. Claire's top tip was to use a thermal hair shield. This KeraCare product not only protects your hair from the heat tools, but it also acts as a anti-humidity product for as long as it takes to wash your hair next!



Shop KeraCare Thermal Wonder here:







Claire achieved a super smooth finish using some platinum-coated hair straighteners. I love that I now have a little side swept fringe. My hair is looking and feeling healthier than ever. It is so important to get rid of the dead, split ends in order for your hair to be healthy enough to grow. My journey to long, curly hair continues!




Calling all curly-haired guys and gals, or those who care about their haircare, you must to head to Live True Vauxhall and demand to be seen by Claire the hair wizard! I will definitely be back to have another refresh with Claire. I hope some of you will go and experience a service with her too!




Live True London are kindly offering my readers a 25% discount on all hair services booked with the code:



"Blogger Offer"

Terms and conditions: When booking your appointment, quote ‘Blogger Offer’ to take advantage of this offer. Offer available to new clients only. Offer available with selected stylists only. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. No cash value. LIVE TRUE LONDON reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time.

https://www.livetruelondon.com/all-services/hair-services/



Eb x

The Importance of Great Friendships

eboni holding a warm latte with Monica Vinader bracelet


"Friends are the family we choose"

We've all heard that quote a thousand times, and for me, it couldn't be more true...

I grew up in a small family. In fact, it was just me and my mum. Before your mind wanders off into Gilmore Girls territory, let me explain that mine and my mum's relationship hasn't always been steady ground. I love my mum to bits, but there are many ways in which we are incompatible. I think this is why I have always treasured my friendships and why I am so thankful for the wonderful people I surround myself with.

10 Reasons to Love Autumn

Eboni smiling and throwing orange leaves

Hey Guys,

Yaass!!! Autumn has finally rolled around. Us bloggers do love a good season change! It's the time to update those Insta themes and change up the wardrobe (any excuse to go shopping!) And let's not forget that autumn is the time the clocks go back - meaning, an extra hour of snooze time!

In today's post, I will be giving you my top 10 reasons to love autumn! Let me know in the comments if I have left anything out, and let me know what your favourite season is!

Grab a cup of ya fav hot beverage, and settle in for the cosiest of cosy posts!

My Black Friday Wish List with #PLTWishlist


Eboni wears Red boots from pretty little thing

Hey Guys,

Set your alarms, add it to your calendars, because this 24th November, PrettyLittleThing are going all out with the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales! 
I have put together this post of the top five items on my #PLTWishlist.

'Somedays I am the Flowers, Somedays I am the Rain'

Eboni wearing Pretty Little Thing

This beautiful quote was something I saw around the time of World Mental Health Day. It was posted by a fellow blogger and I immediately screen-grabbed it. The words stuck with me because high's and low's are something I struggle with a lot. Not just your average PMS mood swings, but sudden spouts of depression brought on by a variety of things. My self confidence, my lack of sleep, my social anxiety, relationships, friendships and so on.



Eboni wearing Pretty Little Thing Outfit



Shop This Post:





Eboni wearing grey check coat, black pom pom earrings and red lipstick

This quote really stuck with me because within it, there is a lesson that I have been discovering as I grow - even through the lowest moments, when I am feeling super sh*tty and sorry for myself, there is a teeny, tiny ray of light (whether I want to admit it in that moment or not) in the super far distance that knows this feeling is just a passing storm that I need to wait out.

It's because of my highs, my happiness and my success, that I know the "storm" is only temporary and there is so much more to come. I know this, because it is a pattern that just repeats itself #Life (woaahh!)






Eboni wearing grey check coat from Pretty Little Thing

Eboni wearing grey check pretty little thing coat with red boots


It is with this understanding that I find peace and a little comfort in this quote and I allow myself to settle and almost enjoy my lows as much as my highs. I encourage myself to learn from all my experiences and most importantly, remain grounded. 

All flowers need a little rain to grow :)

Seeing this quote being shared around the online community reassures me that I am not alone in feeling this way. And that it is ok to not to be ok all the time, with no apologies!





I wonder if any of you lovely readers can relate to this quote at all? 

PS. This entire outfit is from PrettyLittleThing can you believe it!? With Black Friday coming up, PLT are having a hugeee online sale. Make sure you have a look and grab a bargain! 

https://www.prettylittlething.com/black-friday

Eb x


Shop This Post:




Dear ghd...

Eboni siting in covent garden

This blog post is coming from a place of anger, of sadness and despair. It is a response to ghd's new heat tool the "Hair Contour" and the subsequent marketing that has accompanied the product.
 "Contouring is the latest phenomena in beauty and ghd has taken this method into hair styling – a new way of crimping at the roots for low commitment hidden volume and personalised looks to flatter face shapes." 
-ghd website-

What I Found...

When I stumbled upon this latest trend, I was stopped in my tracks. I couldn't believe what I had seen, or understand why it was featured on "arguably the most influential haircare brand on the planet" 's Twitter and Instagram feeds.



I instantly took to my keyboard to question this global hair brand on why they thought it was appropriate to create hair looks based on the hair patterns of the people they continue to exclude from their marketing...
 (I am yet to hear a response.)* see update at end of this post (27/10/17)

I was sick of indirect tweeting about brands in order to get something off my chest. I was sick of not naming names in my blog posts in fear I would tarnish my own reputation and relationships with brands.

So here we are...


The Problem

The Independent covered the product launch in their online newspaper:


A look that’s attempted to break into the mainstream pretty much every decade since – think Britney and Christina Aguilera circa 2000 – here we are, in 2017, and crimped hair is officially back in vogue.

The ghd website describes the "Hair Contour" tool as their answer to 80's style.

 "This season we are big on texture, with 80s-inspired looks taking centre stage on the catwalk. In response, we proudly present the new ghd contour™ professional crimper. "
.............

..."big on texture"

This season "texture" is in! Woo! But unfortunately for me, it is "texture on Caucasian people" that's "in"
According to ghd's Instagram page, ghd's website, ghd's marketing choices and ghd's PR choices, ghd is a brand exclusively for white people, even when the hair trends they are portraying as "fashionable", exclusively and naturally belong to people of colour.

"a new way of crimping at the roots"

Just the roots, yeah, ghd?...







This was the featured image for the previously quoted Independent Newspaper article. 




Is this Marc Jacobs all over again? 

Remember New York Fashion Week 2016, when Marc Jacobs was accused of cultural appropriation? Jacobs sent models - including Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner - down the runway in multicoloured dreadlocks. 



“I don’t really think about that,” he said. “I take inspiration from every culture.
“Style comes from clashing things. It’s always been there — if you’re creative, if you make food, music, and fashion, whatever, you’re inspired by everything. It’s not homogeneous. Different cultures mix all the time. You see it on the street. People don’t dress head-to-toe in just one way.”
He went on to insist that Rastafarian culture hadn’t been an influence and that the look was inspired by Lana Wachowski, who recently starred in one of Marc Jacobs’ campaigns, as well as 80s icons Boy George and Marilyn. 



Is it too radical to dare say that this is the modern, hair version of black-face?


Where do we go from here?

I believe there are two issues at large here. Number one being the identity theft/appropriation of afro hair and texture without credit or inclusion of the afro hair community by ghd. This includes the idea that a hair type that naturally occurs in a large percentage of people, could be seen as "trending" or "fashionable" but only on someone of a contrasting skin colour. 
Number two, is the lack of representation of POC within ghd's press imagery, social media imagery and marketing. I indirectly mentioned ghd within a previous blog post when discussing the lack of diversity within the blogging industry. Ghd do not make enough effort to represent bloggers of colour within their press events and campaigns. I find that the outcome of this exclusion just becomes highly ironic and even laughable - ghd wish to mimic my naturally- occurring curl pattern and texture whilst totally excluding me from their brand.


How many times are curly-haired and afro-haired men, and specifically women, sold the idea by our peers and by hair companies that we need "frizz control" and to "tame those curls"?

"Messy hair! Frizzy hair!"
Our natural curl patterns and textures, have thus far, been a way to brandish our appearance as messy and undesirable. According to the hundreds of TV and magazine ads I grew up with in the UK, it's swishy, shiny, Pantene hair that is seen as attractive and acceptable.
Our hair texture has never been celebrated the way that ghd is now celebrating "hair texture" on Caucasian models.  

I would love to know your thoughts on this subject. This topic is very fresh, and after doing my own research, I have failed to come across any similar articles. I hope that with this post, I can start a conversation that may help brands to do better in future. 


Eb x

*Update (27th October 2017) - ghd responded to my tweets claiming:

"Hi Eboni, we love all hair types at ghd & our styling tools are designed to work on every kind of hair 1/3
We try to be inclusive with our campaigns, shoots & blogging events. We have tutorials on our website... 2/3
...that specifically show how to use ghd tools on a range of hair types, including afro hair, as seen here: https://www.ghdhair.com/hairstyles/straight/how-to-hairstyles-afro-to-sleek … 3/3
We share tags from our followers and we try to be representative across our social channels, including ghdhair and ghdhairpro on Instagram"


Since these tweets, their Instagram feed has become more diverse with an asian and black model now being featured.