ginger hair
Though I have been more than happy to spend most of 2015 as a grey-blonde, the inevitable Restless Hair Syndrome kicked in last month. Showing no signs of easing up, I decided to appease my curiosity, book an appointment, and ask you all whether I should stay blonde or go red.

With Twitter (blonde!) and Facebook (red!) divided equally, I made my way to the House of RUSH Piccadilly still relatively undecided. With natural auburn hair, I knew red wouldn’t look bad but wasn’t sure I wanted to add such a notoriously strong pigment on top of hair I had bleached to infinity to get so light.

Thanks to Chloe’s colour consultation and expertise, we chose to dye my hair with a customised ginger toner of top of the bleach. Though this means the colour isn’t permanent, it will still last for eight weeks and give me the option to return to grey (or any other pastel tone) without having to bleach or strip my hair again.

The result? A healthy and beautiful head of red that looks everything from strawberry-blonde to rich ginger, depending on the light (a natural, multi-tonal effect that I love).

To wrap up, Chloe took me downstairs to The Hair Gallery and taught me how to curl my hair with straighteners – a skill I have failed to master for almost ten years – before letting me bounce away into the streets of London.

ginger hair

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get it girl
2015 was a strange and wonderful year, altogether. Though it had its inevitable low, I honestly feel like it held some of the best experiences of my life and could not be happier to have most of it diarised by blog.

In the spirit of gratitude, let’s take a look at the best of the best from 2015…

Best Fashion Blog of 2015
This outfit – albeit a lazy attempt to match a beautiful car – has been the rough template of 80% of the ‘looks’ I’ve worn this year. Big skirts and heels fo’ lyfe.

Best Travel Blog of 2015
This was incredibly tough. The last twelve months have included excursions to Thailand, Morocco, Scarborough, Turin, the Anthem of the Seas cruise, Milan, Geneva, Wales, Qatar, Norwich, Paris, Edinburgh (twice!) and Norway (which is being blogged very soon!).

Nothing, however, surprised me like Amsterdam. It was a stunning, fun, and innovative city that I hope to get to know better for many years to come.

Best Beauty Blog of 2015
The Game of Thrones Khaleesi hair tutorial was definitely the most fun to make and the most Pinterest-ed beauty blog, to boot.

Best Beauty Products of 2015
Nude by Nature products. The discovery was a fateful one and I quite literally haven’t used any alternative products since this very video.

Best Quote of 2015
From The Weekend Wonder archives: “It’s also important to realize that it’s okay to be the first. If you constantly look for role models who look like you, then there won’t be any firsts. Sally Ride would not have been the first woman astronaut had she been looking for a woman to follow.” – Condoleezza Rice, The Woman’s Conference

Best London Restaurant of 2015
This year, I spent a number of lunchtimes in Maple & Fitz and had the best afternoon tea of my life at The Kensington Hotel but two restaurants reigned above the rest:
1) Hakkasan. Their Dim Sum Sundays menu is a feast of dreams, but every dish I’ve tried over the last twelve months (and that is almost all of them) has been incredible.
2) Bob Bob Ricard. The allure of the ‘Press for Champagne’ button and a modern British-Russian menu is never lost on me.

Best (Other) Restaurant of 2015
Hands down, Dining at The Pass in Edinburgh. I have never had so much fun with my food.

Best Recipe of 2015
The easiest cake pop recipe in the world is destined to go down in personal infamy.

Best Collaboration of 2015
My personal guide to London for the SPG Destination: London video. Without a doubt. I hope to share a lot more projects in this vein with you over 2016!

Best Instagram of 2015
According to your likes, this baby:

A photo posted by Lela London (@lelalondon) on

beauty blog favourites
Dina Gohil
As far as health and beauty treatments are concerned, very few impress me to a state of repeated recommendation. Dina Gohil‘s ‘Medical Pedicure‘ is one of the chosen few. Nestled in a private practice on South Moulton Street (just off of Oxford Street), ‘DG Podiatrist’ is her eponymous specialist’s indisputable lovechild. From the second I went in for my appointment, Dina met me with an unshakeable passion and knowledge that took me from podiatry noob to, well, less of a podiatry noob (with perfect feet!) in only 45 minutes.

During the treatment, Dina takes the time to really understand your current state of health (all connected to your feet, I’ll have you know!) and combines podiatry, chiropody, and luxuriously healthy spa therapies to help you put your best foot forward.

Pun completely intended.

Lavera Eyeshadow Base
I’ve worn the Lavera Eyeshadow Base every time I’ve had to wear make-up this month and I am a complete convert. The organic and vegan gel formulation is both dermatologist & ophthalmologist tested and gives your eyeshadow all-day staying power. Offering the same creaseless, pigmented results as the chemical-filled primers loved by everyone and their mothers, I’ve thrown all other primers away.

Thesis Beauty
I am newly obsessed with the natural beauty brand in its entirety but two particular products knock many of my other ‘green beauty’ favourites out of the park. The first – Thesis’ Makeup Remover in Rosemary Citrus – removes heavy makeup with just a few swipes and hydrates skin as it cleanses. I have kept it by my bed for weeks and find it to be the best (and healthiest) product I have ever tried for lazy nighttime cleansing.

When I double-cleanse, however, I follow the Makeup Remover it with the Thesis Facial Cleanser in Tender as Petals. The powder formulation is 100% natural (therefore ideal for all skin types) but took me a week or so to fall in love with. Essentially, you mix the powder with a tiny bit of water in your hands to create a cleansing paste. It’s not very intuitive, but once you find the best way to do so (mine is a shower routine: I tap a little bit of powder into wet palms, pat that into my cheeks, and add more water as necessary to ‘wash’) you are left with the softest, cleanest skin imaginable.

Covent Garden Dental Spa
Beauty deal of the month goes to the Sparkling Smile package from the fantastic Covent Garden Dental Spa. For £99, you receive their Deluxe Diamond Sparkle Stain Removal Clean (including air-flow) and then jet around the corner to Station Spa for a luxurious Dermalogica Microzone facial (a £170 value). With both practices filled with the most lovely and talented staff, I could not think of a better way to feel fresh for the new year.

Proto-col Miracle Balm
I am an unfortunate combination of 1) incredibly slow healer and 2) clumsiest human alive. Looking for something that would keep a leg full of scratches from scarring after a particularly ruckus hike, I stumbled across proto-col’s miracle balm and haven’t turned back since. The tiny treatment tub uses the hydrating, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits of Collagen, hyaluronic acid and beeswax to aid everything from burns to stings. A medical cabinet must.

Heat Treat
In the never-ending pursuit of silky strands (#bleachproblems), I recently trialled Heat-Treat‘s reusable thermal hair conditioning cap and couldn’t finish this month’s ‘beauty favourites’ without it. The microwavable cap creates a salon-steam environment for any hair treatment you want to apply (though it comes with three fantastic samples), allowing any active ingredients to penetrate the hair shaft as deep as possible. The result? Intensely shiny, healthy hair in five minutes max.

beauty favourites
Beautiful babes, I am excited; I have finally figured out the magical concoction needed to maintain perfect silver hair.

In fact, this is a hair-tastic ‘Beauty Favourites’ for tendril-havers and toner-needers alike. Enjoy!

Joico Curl Cleansing Sulfate-Free Shampoo
With naturally wavy hair comes a scientific inclination towards breakage and dryness. Add bleach and perish. Like my own mop of curls.

Enter the game-changer. I have been using Joico’s Curl Cleansing Sulfate-Free Shampoo (pH 4.5-5.5) for about one month and feel my hair is almost improving in texture. Combining a blend of natural oils, reconstructive proteins and defining polymers, the shampoo not only works to cleanse the hair but strengthen strands and repair damage. No frizz, no tangles, no colour loss.

The Curl Cleansing conditioner is equally fantastic, but has been sidelined by my silver hair needs and the…

Redken Blonde Idol Custom-Tone Violet Conditioner
As creative colour, silver and grey hair is high maintenance. The second your toner fades, it becomes a real mission to keep brassy hues at bay. Redken’s ingenious Blonde Idol Custom-Tone Violet conditioner is, in fact, the only solution. With a dual-chamber design and dial, you release a custom calibrated blend of purple toner and conditioner, let it sit for a few minutes, and wash it out for cool-toned perfection. I tend to stick between the week three and six dials as my hair is fast to brass, but it is recommended to start at week one and work your way up until your next colour appointment.

Tangle Teezer Compact Styler
A hairbrush in my favourites? No-one is more surprised than I am. Brushing my hair is one of my lifelong first world problems (waves + hairbrush = frizz) but this little dude has turned me into a total convert. The hair tool does what it says on the tin and then some – it can be used on wet or dry hair, stimulates the scalp without killing volume, and sweeps through tangles in no time at all. Handbag

Nude By Nature products
I fell in instant lust with a number of Nude By Nature products during my recent haul and first impressions try-on. Over the time that has passed, we’ve become soulmates. On the days I wear make-up, I wear the four products below and can do ‘glowy perfection’ from morning ’til midnight with no touch-ups.

‘Dem products, doe (see them in action by clicking through to the haul):
Nude by Nature Luminous Sheer Liquid Foundation in Ivory
Nude by Nature Perfection Concealer in Ivory
Nude by Nature Flawless Pressed Powder Foundation in Ivory (with the Nude by Nature Buffing Brush)
Nude by Nature Natural Glow Loose Bronzer in Bondi (with the Nude by Nature Kabuki Brush)