Natasha Ndlovu is a model, blogger and photographer based in London, England. She writes about fashion, photography, beauty and travel, as well as shares her experiences working in the fashion industry.
Recently, I had the pleasure of staying at The Plymouth South Beach in Miami, which is a part of the Small Luxury Hotels group. With a great, central location on 21st street, we were within walking distance to the beach, as well as shops and restaurants. If you fancy dining within the hotel, you have immediate access to the world renowned Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill.
What attracted me the most to The Plymouth South Beach was not just the design of the rooms but how they faced the pool, which was the gathering point for many guests. Miami, after all, is a city which has great weather all year round, so it is fitting that hotels put a lot of emphasis on their pools.
To experience our room in all its glory, you need to watch my Miami Vlog Part One on my Youtube channel. Photos don’t do justice to how chic our room was !
I have travelled a number of times around the world but in the United States, it had always been to New York and Los Angeles. I am glad that this year I have added Sedona, Arizona and now Miami, Florida to my list. Service in America is something a lot of people like to compare to where they come from and The Plymouth South Beach did not disappoint. Staff were accommodating, even when it came to helping with our photos. How great is that ?!
I thoroughly enjoyed our two-night stay at The Plymouth South Beach. It was relaxed and being a small, boutique hotel you felt a sense of community with the staff and guests. I prefer small luxury hotels that focus on each and every one of their guests over the usual big chain hotels. I like to know that when I walk past reception from a day out, they recognise my face even if they may not know me by my name.
The 90s shoulder bag trend is back. In fact, a lot of trends from the 90s are making their way into our summer wardrobes. Whether it’s in the form of a shoe or a slip dress, I absolutely welcome it. A minimalist style is the way forward, in my opinion. I got myself two of said 90s shoulder bag, in blue and brown, both with a croc effect finish. If you are not planning on blowing the budget on this trend ( don’t we all want a Fendi baguette ? ), then here are a few other affordable options below.
Today’s Sunday shop is inspired by one of my style icons – Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. If you don’t know who she is, Google her, but for now, I want to jump straight into her style. She worked at Calvin Klein and is still, nowadays, considered the queen of minimal chic. I love 90s fashion, especially Calvin Klein at that time, for its simplicity and Carolyn epitomised that. From head to toe, her dress sense was on point. In this shopping segment, I just want to focus on her sunglasses and shoes from two images that I sourced online. The round sunglasses really suited her face shape and if you are someone who can pull that shape of, then here are some favorites, mainly black and tortoise shell colors.
Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s denim is something I won’t focus on here but, rather, her choice in heels. A lot of the footwear you see when you google her tends to be flats, low heels and the occasional boot which itself is also not that high. If you’ve already noticed, there is a 90s-inspired sandal trend going on and that is on point with Carolyn’s style. I’m personally happy that this trend is here for the summer because I cannot, for the life of me, spend more than 30 minutes in high heels or stilettos. I’m not the tallest of the bunch but, at 5’8″, I also don’t want to stand way taller than my friends when we go out. So this trend is a win for me. Below are some sandals that would go well with a pair of cropped jeans like the ones Carolyn is wearing.
I will be adding more celebrity-inspired Shop The Look content from now on, not just my own looks. I am always inspired by a variety of people and I hope this series of the blog will also give you ideas outside of what I normally buy or how I style myself. If you are still interested in Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s style, let me know, as I would be happy to do more content inspired by her style.
I know I’m a few months late to the party, but, as they say, better late than never. I’m not one to celebrate my own achievements, as I tend to move on to the next challenge, but it was so lovely for Elle Magazine UK to give me a one-page feature in their December 2018 issue. I talked about the importance of staying true to yourself in this world of blogging and not being afraid to express yourself. The lovely folks at OGX hair collaborated with Elle on this feature and I am proud to say they are a hair care brand that’s I’ve used in the past and will continue to use in the future, among my other favourites. Here is the full article below:
We are well into Spring but the weather is still not quite there yet. You know what I mean ? There is still a bit of wind and cloudy days in between the sunny weekends. For some of you who are done with the layering but still need a jacket over your blouse or t-shirt, suits are the best way to go. They can be dressed up or dressed down and you can wear the blazer and pants separately with other items. You don’t have to work a 9 to 5 in order to don a suit. Pair them with sneakers if you into a more creative look or heels for the boardroom. I believe every woman should have at least one quality suit in her wardrobe and for me it’s the Toteme navy one.
If navy for the Spring is too dark for you, try pastels or bright colors like this Topshop suit. If money is no object, opt for this lilac suitfrom A.L.C. There are a variety of styles, colors and price points for everyone out there but below are my favourite picks for this Spring.
It has been less than a month into the new year and one important goal on my 2019 vision board has come true. It is something that has been a culmination of years of hard work and staying on the right track, in regards to my career. There have been a fair share of ups and downs, with most of 2018 being the hardest part of the journey. But I’ve ticked that important bit off my checklist and I am ready to move on to bigger and better things !
Three years ago, I talked about my love for vintage clothing and opened a store on Asos Marketplace which did relatively well, though for a short period of time. It was called Zenzele, meaning ‘do it yourself’, in my native language of Ndebele. I would source denim, leather and satin pieces from warehouses, clean them in the washing machine, replace old buttons, then sell the items online. About two years ago, I decided to rename my idea Vintage Assembly, set up a URL for it and an Instagram account. For the time being, it is a mood board of things I like but I am pushing myself to turn it into a brand.
I don’t know the first thing about starting a brand and I have done my fair share of research online but I am also figuring out who to talk to and where to go. I’m starting this newish project, all while keeping this blog and Instagram going. Let’s not forget my Youtube channel, which I have neglected for a month now. It’s a lot of work for one person but I hope that I find a person or people who genuinely want to get shit done and contribute to making it successful.
SHOP THE LOOK
Honestly, my ideas are still a bit all over the place but I am taking it one day at a time, jotting down notes and doing my research. I want to create something of my own that has longevity. I love blogging and doing fashion & beauty content but I have to think of where I will be 10 years from now and what I want to wake up doing everyday. Will Instagram still be a thing ? Will my current audience care to watch me get ready for the day ? Probably not. So it’s time I do something that I can look back on 10 years from now and be glad I started. So there, I have put it out into the universe. I want to do this thing called Vintage Assembly and do it well. Wish me luck !
Is the term festive earrings actually a thing ? I didn’t want to say Christmas earrings or New Years earrings. That seemed a bit too specific to a day on the calendar. But seeing as we are all in that party season month of holiday lunches, office parties, dinners and eventually Christmas and New Years Eve, I thought festive earrings would be a more appropriate term. I can’t help grabbing a pair or two of earrings whenever I am out shopping because, lately, the high street has been producing some amazing ear candy (sorry, festive earrings) for the holidays.
The chandelier crystal earrings I am wearing are from Asos and they are on sale for £12 ($19). These are timeless, in my opinion, because chandelier earrings have been around for a while and they will go well not just during the festive season but for nights out and special occasions. On the other hand, if you have money to spend, how about going for black and crystal-embellished earrings by Saint Laurent ? Big and bold, they will definitely catch someone’s eye. They do give off an 80s Dynasty vibe don’t they ?
SHOP FESTIVE EARRINGS
I am sure before the end of this week, I will have amassed even more earrings so make sure to keep up-to-date with any new purchases via my Instagram Shop page, where items I wear will be linked.
I may have found the suit of the season, you guys. It’s comfortable, affordable and very good quality. Did I forget to mention that I like the cut ? I spotted in online at & Other Stories, amongst the corduroy and checkered blazers and pants, that everyone has been wearing, for what feels like an eternity. I just wanted something simple but classic.
The pants are high waisted and standing at 5’8″, they just about touch the floor when I have no shoes on. Styled with a pair of Chloe sunglasses and a Fendi bucket bag, I wanted to give it a 70s feel. This works in the office, for fashion week, and dare I say as a guest at a winter wedding. Why not ? Here are a few more favourites which I think you would like as well.
It has been less than two months since I moved into my current flat and I couldn’t be happier. I found a space with white walls, high ceilings and lots of natural light. In a nutshell, a blogger-friendly apartment. Yay ! My living room is my favourite part of the flat, as it has some of my favourite furniture pieces and is a great place to hang out with friends. I was fortunate enough to be gifted a few pieces from Cult Furniture to help complete my living room space.
I had to decorate around my landlord’s dark brown (almost black) leather sofa with wood details. Naturally, I opted for pieces with leather and wood details in them. One armchair that caught my eye was the Wickham Industrial wooden armchair. I used to have an industrial clothing rail in my old flat, so I have always gravitated to that type of furniture.
The centrepiece of my living room is my Hairpin Round Coffee Table with rose gold legs. It is just big enough to hold a vase, candle and decorative ornaments on it but also small enough to not take up too much living room space.
My black Kelby Lounge Chair is positioned in a spot where you can catch the morning sun at a perfect angle while I have my first coffee. It has also doubled as a great spot for putting my shopping bags on when I come home. You’ll be seeing a lot of it on my Insta-stories this winter.
Thanks to my full-length floor mirror from West Elm, my living looks even bigger. It’s main purpose is for outfit selfies, though. I am, after all, a blogger.
My space is lovely and unique to me. I love that I have mixed different colours of metal or brass when it came to the chairs, coffee table and mirror. Not everything has to be one shade. The cow and faux fur rugs from IKEA and John Lewis do a wonderful job of making the room feel cozy. Who knows what I will add along the way over the next couple of months. It is my living room, after all, and I plan to make it comfortable for me.
So, this is my skin squad for Fall 2018. It may change in the next 30 days or so but these are the main players. I am sure some of you can already tell that some of these brands are on the pricier side but this, at the end of the day, is what I use. Since I have access to these products, I may as well try them out and see if they are worth their hype and price. Bear in mind, I have normal, occasionally dry skin (in the winter) so these may not work for your skin type. My skin squad is what works for me, therefore find what works for you. I will have regular updates on how / if these products are working for my skin in the Beauty section, my Youtube channel and my Instagram.
I have used Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil for a good year now. I will even admit that I use it on my makeup brushes as well, to help remove the makeup. But this cleansing oil literally melts the makeup off my face. It also smells great and a little goes a long way with it, so it’s worth every penny.
It’s difficult for me to say that I have a favourite cleanser that I love but La Mer’s Cleansing Gel does the job. I work with the brand, so naturally, I will try as much of their products as I can. I believe you have to go with a cleanser that works for your skin type, regardless of the brand or price. I don’t have problem skin, so this work just fine for me, although there are many drug-store cleansers that can do just as good a job as this cleansing gel.
Toning has become essential to me, ever since I got into the 10 Step Korean Skincare routine. I’ve used toners from Darphin, Shieseido and Beauty Pie, which have all been very good to my skin. This week, I started using Sisley’s Floral Toning Lotion which is perfect for dry, sensitive skin. My skin is not sensitive but it tends to get dry in the winter. This is only the first week, so I will see how it goes.
I have also started on Sisley’s Black Rose range of products which have anti-ageing ingredients ( Black Rose, Padina pavonica, and Alkekengi calyx extracts ). These ingredients are meant to leave your skin looking youthful and energised. The Black Rose Cream mask and Skin Infusion Cream are new to my skin care routine. So far, I’m loving the mask. Let’s see what the infusion cream will do.
I know I jumped to the mask and cream but after toning, I use essence, another key step to the Korean 10 step routine. Estee Lauder has been a part of my skin care regime for a good decade so, naturally, I was happy to discover their Micro Essence this summer. An essence is hydrating and prepares your skin for the moisturiser, so this is one part of my skin care routine I plan to keep up for the rest of my life, regardless of the skincare brand I use.
Finding the right under eye cream is still a struggle for me. I have yet to meet the eye cream that will really make a difference. My under eyes are a bit hollow, so finding a product that will plump that area up is key. In the meantime, preventing wrinkles and dryness is what I am focusing on. La Mer The Eye Concentrate has been good enough in that department but I’ve also started using Votary’s Intense Eye Oil with a roller ball at night. Oils have always worked well for my night time routine, so an eye oil is a new concept that I am giving a go this winter.
Speaking of face oils, I have also started using Votary’s Intense Night Oil with rosehip and retinoid. It focuses on reducing the signs of ageing, so if that is not what you want in an oil, then look into another product. The La Mer Renewal Oil is meant to smooth and firm your skin but for me, oddly enough, I love using it when I am on a plane. It hydrates my skin very well, especially during long-haul flights, so I prefer to use it when travelling.
Now, during the day, I prefer to use a serum instead of a face oil. Serums that absorb into the skin quickly are a necessity for me because I have to put on makeup and head out of the house for meetings, soon after washing my face. The La Mer Hydrating Serum gives me a quick boost of hydration, dries into my pores and leaves my skin ready to add another product onto it, be that a tinted moisturiser ( I recommend Laura Mercier ) or a sun screen.
Again, this is my skin squad which may not be the right one for you. I believe in using products that work for you not just using products because they are popular or expensive. There are just as many good drug store and high skin care products out there. You need to find what works for your skin and your budget. I will keep you updated as the weeks and months go, leading up to Christmas, on how I am doing with this range of products.