Now that summer is over, I have a few rituals that help get me ready for the upcoming season. Growing up on the East Coast, the day after Labor Day signaled the official start to fall (even though the calendar says it doesn’t begin until the end of September). It was a season met with foliage joyrides to the Berkshires, pumpkin picking at local farms, haunted houses and hayrides. It was also time to bring out the sweet smelling candles of apple and pumpkin spice. Here in L.A. I keep a lot of the same autumn traditions I had while I was growing up and I’ve adopted some new ones along the way. These are a few of the things I do to transition from summer to fall.
Autumn Beauty Regimen
Being a fan of all things pumpkin, I look for any excuse to invest in products that contain this ingredient. Not only do they smell like autumn, but they’re composed of powerful essentials such as vitamin C, E, and A, plus tons of antioxidants, and fruit enzymes. These “beauty superfoods” exfoliate your skin and help fight sun damage. I’ll start by incorporating an exfoliator like this enzyme dermal resurfacer into my skincare regime. Then I’ll follow up with a 24K peel-off mask or this highly rated pumpkin honey glycolic mask. When I’m in the mood for a DIY approach, I’ll create these beauty recipes from Foreo.
Apple Cider Vinegar
There are many benefits to using ACV in your hair. For me, it’s keeping my blonde locks from turning a brassy shade, and to restore my scalps PH balance. Normally, I wash my hair every other day, but while I was on vacation this summer, I was doing it daily. That, combined with hours in the sun caused my color to fade. After doing some research, I purchased an apple cider vinegar hair rinse and I’ll use it two to three times a week. It’s helped to revive my color, add shine, and now my hair feels thicker and healthier.
Pumpkin Scented Bath and Body Products
Before showering, I’ll use my dry brush which helps increase blood circulation, stimulate the lymph flow, and detoxify the body. Here’s a how to guide on this ancient practice that’s been around for over 5,000 years, and all the benefits it holds.
I’ll swap out my tropical scented products for #PSL and sweet aromas of autumn. While I’m in the shower, I’ll apply a pumpkin spice body wash that contains shea butter and aloe, which leaves my skin feeling clean and energized. Next up is as a vanilla chai + pumpkin spice body scrub. The blend of these two scents makes it smell delicious enough to want to eat. Using it twice a week exfoliates my skin and leaves it feeling super-soft. To lock in moisture, I’ll apply a vanilla pumpkin body butter. Even though I live in L.A.—a place that doesn’t see much of a winter, my skin gets extremely dry around October. Besides upping my daily intake of water, applying a good quality body lotion does the trick.
The Colors I Can’t Wait To Try
With each season, I have specific makeup colors I gravitate towards. During the fall, I’ll find inspiration in the leaves changing—bronze, wine, rust, and even yellow tones. Other shades I love wearing are nudes, deep purples, and shimmery greens. I’ve been on the lookout for autumn inspired makeup and so far these are the products I’m eyeing.
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One of the first things I did to get into the “fall spirit” was a manicure (you can read my tips here). I picked a transitional color that signaled the end of summer, and the beginning of fall. Then I applied matte topcoat to give it a dull finish. My go to polishes for autumn are complementary to my makeup color choices. I also love to apply bold shades like navy, orange, wine, blush, violet, and metallics.
The Farmers’ Market and Recipes
An ideal autumn day for me is devoting a Sunday afternoon shopping for produce at one of the many Los Angeles farmers’ markets. Then, heading home and cooking up something delicious for Billy and I to have for dinner. We’ll end the evening by enjoying a glass of wine and watching our favorite shows (for me, it’s The Affair, for Billy—he usually catches up on Wu-Tang: An American Saga).
For discovering new recipes my go to sources are Instagram and Pinterest. Two dishes I can’t wait to make are butternut squash mac & cheese, and poblano skillet enchilada bake, plus pumpkin spice latte macarons. Another autumn food staple of mine is eating soup, and lots of it. From tomato bisque to broccoli cheddar, nothing says fall has arrived like having a hot bowl on a chilly evening.
When buying fall produce, look for seasonal favorites: apples, artichokes, arugula, beets, broccoli, broccoli rabe, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chiles, cranberries, eggplant, figs, fresh fennel, garlic, grapes, green beans, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, parsnips, pears, persimmons, pomegranate, pumpkin, quinces, radish, red onions, shallots, sweet potatoes, tomatillo, turnip, winter squash, and zucchini. Don’t forget about fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, rosemary, and sage.
Homemade Hot Cocoa
Last December when Billy and I were in New York City, we discovered the most delicious marshmallows. They came in an assortment of unique flavors like pumpkin spice latte, rocky road, s’mores, oreo brownies, and even mini donuts! These fluffy clouds were full of sweetness and made our hot chocolates taste like nothing we have ever had before (in an amazingly good way). Now I keep them stocked in my kitchen for whenever I’m craving a mug of homemade hot cocoa.
Planning For The Season
At the end of August I got excited for the upcoming season by prioritizing my schedule with fall-related happenings and projects. After researching L.A. events, I wrote down in my planner, everything I was interested in attending (Freeform’s Halloween House, the Clownin Around Clothing “IT” Halloween Festival) or planning on doing (pumpkin carving, watching scary movies, baking an apple pie).
I also made a note of new (and returning) TV shows along with their premiere dates. Right now I’m enjoying, The Deuce, Unbelievable, and the return of New Amsterdam, and 9-1-1. On my list of new shows beginning this fall are Godfather of Harlem, Back to Life, Modern Love, and Looking For Alaska.
(For more autumn related events and things to do, check out last year’s A Girl in LA’s fall bucket list.)
At Home Autumn Traditions
I don’t get to do a ton of Christmas decorating because I spend most of December on the East Coast. To make up for it I go all out for autumn and Halloween. I’m obsessed with Target’s Hide and Eek Boutique; there are so many cute skulls, pumpkins, and knick-knacks and they’re super affordable. My thing with holiday decorating is to pick up items that won’t break the bank. There’s no point in splurging—(unless it’s a candle)—on decorations that you’re going to use a few weeks out of the year.
What are your autumn traditions?
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