Art Style Love

A fashion blog written by Jennifer.


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

From Inactive to Athletic in One Week

   Working in an office alongside a fitness magazine, I kind of feel as if I should be doing SOMEthing exercisey-ish with my spare time. For a long time, that wasn't the case - I'm a massive bed potato at heart - and I hated the thought of working out, getting sweaty and losing my breath. However, sitting at a desk all day, it wasn't long before I noticed my body changing: I was slouching more, my legs were losing tone and anything I ate would go right to my stomach and make me feel slightly bloated.

   Sexy, right?

   Well, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to change that. I started slowly, making small changes in my diet and my activity levels, and then the ball began rolling from there. I've noticed tiny alterations in tone and even size (whether it's all in my mind, I don't care) and the most important thing is that I FEEL healthier, lighter and less lethargic. Here are my super easy tips for going from inactive to athletic in one week (note: I can't guarantee you'll become Beyoncé, but by all means have a go!).


   You never realise how much your body depends on sleep until it starts to show in your face, your body and even in how you function throughout the day (I can get projects finished so much quicker when I've had at least 8 hours of sleep, compared to my usual 6 and a half). People were telling me I looked tired, and it was true - I didn't look like someone in their early twenties, I looked as if I'd been on the daily grind for years.

   Better yet, people who get more than 8 hours of sleep a night DOUBLE their chances of losing weight, according to the NHS. I started by going to bed half an hour earlier on my first night, then increasing it from there. Can't get to sleep? Use a meditative sleep app or read a book to relax - but try not to use social media in bed, as it drains time.


   Notice how I didn't say 'cut out'; if you usually intake a lot of caffeine, cutting it out completely will only make you feel sluggish and make you crave it more. It was common for me to drink around three cups of tea a day (which probably isn't much in the grand scheme, but every little helps), and I slowly cut this down to one regular tea and two green teas. I already feel healthier!


   I can't stress enough how much of a miracle worker water really is. It'll help you lose weight, maintain healthy digestive functions AND aid in clearing your skin. Eight pints is the recommended amount, and that may seem like a lot, but it's easy if you set yourself a reminder every hour to grab a glass of water. Sure, you'll go to the toilet more, but that's a tiny downside compared to the benefits!


   If you've got a busy lifestyle - that'll be most of you, I guess - you don't have to set aside an hour in the day for your fitness fix. Little things, like power walking from your car to your office, will help you get into the active mindset. 

   Why not try deskercise? Sit in your chair and squeeze your glutes for 10-15 seconds, then release and repeat!


   Hard work pays off - so why not reward a week of thinking fit with a day off? Spend it any way you like: Netflix binge, shopping spree, pumpkin spiced latte, duvet day - we all love a holiday once in a while, so go ahead; you've earned it! But try not to binge eat, as you'll bloat yourself and it may cause irregular digestive functioning.


Monday, 5 October 2015

September 2015 Beauty Haul: Miller Harris, Avéne, etc.

   I accumulated a neat little shoe box of products last month, some of which I could see myself using every day and some which I knew would end up going to better homes. Unfortunately, this happens occasionally with a very small handful of products I'm given to review, as I'm very particular about what I put on my skin, and what fits in with my skin type (very dry, if you didn't know).

   Below are a few fantastic products, a few not so fantastic products, and a few which are somewhere in between.

Le Jasmin by Miller Harris

This is by far my favourite perfume of the year; it's earthy and ever so slightly floral, with a hint of Sicilian lemon, bergamot and mandarin, lavendar and wild rosemary, and Moroccan Jasmine, Tunisian orange flower and ylang ylang - all on top of a base of cedar wood, oak moss and musk.

I like this because it's not too floral or sickly sweet - it's more of a unisex scent that I could imagine being worn by a man or woman. The box is super pretty too, as is the simplistic and chic bottle! I see myself wearing Le Jasmin throughout the year, for years to come.

Cleansing Lotion by Garnier

This is a simple and gentle cleansing lotion by one of my favourite drugstore brands, Garnier. It's great for every day use - just squirt a pea sized amount on a cotton pad and sweep across your face.

I wouldn't say this product is anything extraordinary, but it does the job - and it's a great price (just £3.29)!

Almond Hand Cream by Weleda*

Almond oil (along with coconut, argan and even plain old olive) has enjoyed vast popularity over the past few years for its moisturising qualities. This hand cream uses almonds as its main ingredient, and does wonders for keeping skin supple and smooth -  especially sensitive skin.

I have very dry skin, so this is currently going with me wherever I am!

Micellar Water by Avéne*

Like almond oil, micellar water has become a big hit on the beauty market recently. This wonder water removes makeup and cleanses skin without the need for rinsing, as it's so pure and natural.

I've found however, that this doesn't quite do the job when removing waterproof eye makeup; for that purpose, I'll stick to my oil-based cleansers.

Snail Gel by Dr Organic*

Unfortunately, I couldn't try this out because I'm just too freaked out by the concept to put it on my face. It uses 'snail secretion filtrate' as its key ingredient, which is confusing most people as to whether it's a gimmick or a genuinely effective new treatment for skin.

Apparently, snails have been used for beauty treatments for years, and the ingredient that is said to soothe and moisturise is actually the slime that snails secrete from their bodies in order to move smoothly across surfaces.

The product itself is clear in appearance, and smells a bit like lemonade; however, I just can't bring myself to apply it to my face, so I may get a family member to try it out for me!

This soothing cream possesses the ingredient, Diolényl, which is said to limit bacteria growth, reduce redness and help eliminate pimples (hence, the 'tri' in the product title).

I haven't given this enough testing yet in order to provide you with a fair and thorough review, but I will be posting something up this month with just that - keep an eye open!

Want to know a bit more about these products? Check out my haul video below:

*Products gifted for review

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Nothing Like a Birthday Wishlist...

   As I'm writing this, I'm sitting at my desk eating a very questionable and rather unsatisfying sausage roll (note to self, you are no longer to buy sausage rolls from petrol stations); but that won't be the case in three days time, as it's my birthday - can I get a woopwoop? - and I have requested from my parents, as I do every year, a lasagne made in my honour.

   If you lovely readers didn't already know, I am Garfield incarnate, and my two favourite things on earth are lasagne and my bed (lasagne in bed is the ultimate goal). And as I've reached an age where I can afford most material things that I want, a homemade lasagne is possibly the best present that I could receive.

   However, I can generally only eat two servings in one sitting (alright, maybe three if I'm tempted, which I am. Always.), so if everyone were to make me a lasagne, I doubt I would be able to finish them all. As nobody likes waste, maybe it would be more appropriate to ask for a few other presents - because I'm so  considerate, aren't I? THINK OF THE LASAGNES.. 

   As promised, here is my birthday wishlist of spectacularly non-lasagne items:

1. Round Patterned Sunglasses by zeroUV, $9.99

2. Sloane Ankle Boots by Public Desire, £34.99

4. Zara Martin Kitty Headphones by Skinnydip, £35

6. Candle by Tom Dixon, £55

7. This and That Notebook by The Paper Bunny, $15.90

8. Holst Steel Watch by Skagen, £165

9. Come on Over Tan Boots by La Moda, £29.99

10. Opal Ring by Melissa Joy Manning, £680

Sunday, 27 September 2015

What's Relevant Now in Fashion Photography?

   As part of London Fashion Week, I attended some talks at the Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design in Soho - these were really informative, and acted as a nice break from the hectic flurries of the catwalks, if I'm honest.

   One of the most interesting talks, in my opinion, was 'Fashion Photography: Then and Now' with legendary fashion photographer, Miles Aldridge, and incredibly creative makeup artist, Isamaya Ffrench. This talk was interesting because it addressed the way that creatives publish their work and enter the professional industry.

   Miles, in his witty and nonchalant manner, talked to a room of around thirty attendees about how his professional career took off. Originally intending to go into videography, he began taking photographs of his then model girlfriend, which were then seen by an influential editor - and the rest is history. But is it so easy these days?

   I've looked at handfuls of job applications in the creative industry which demand at least two years experience, a degree and excellent recommendations. Would an aspiring photographer be able to simply show his images to someone high up in journalism and become an undisputed success? Probably not - but that's because the industry has changed so much in the last two decades. Whereas most kids in the 80s aspired to become doctors, police officers and teachers, we're now aspiring to work in fashion, art and film. Is that a bad thing? There are negatives and positives about this shift; but if one thing's for certain, people in the creative industry have more competition than they ever did before.

   So how do we stand out?

   Isamaya became a makeup artist after spending her time painting children's faces at parties; word got round about her undeniable skill, and now she has worked with Chanel, Selfridges and Vogue Italia, as well as becoming Beauty Ambassador for YSL.

   She says, 'It's so hard for the new generations of creative people because the last century of decades have been so stylised, but we no longer have that kind of pigeonholing. People don't want to keep referencing the past, but they also don't know how to move forwards.'

   It's clear now that there is really no predominant style in media. We can identify a look from the 60s, 70s and 80s at the first glance, but what about a look from 2015? What does style mean to us now?

   A clear influence in today's style, whether it's personal fashion or a global ad campaign, is Instagram. We use this tool to show the best bits of our everyday lives, to create a story, or to show off a portfolio. The photosharing app has become so much more than its description; for many, including myself, it is a window to opportunity.

   Isamaya uses her Instagram to show off work that her agency doesn't feel fits in with her profile. Miles admits he 'gave in' to the app around three years ago and began posting particularly 'artsy' shots of decrepit Jelly Babies and used takeaway cups.

   Miles states, 'There's no Editor in Chief anymore', alluding to the oversaturation of work being published into the world. But what, or who, really determines 'good work'? Haven't we come to a point in time where all published work is considered art? I mean, isn't that what the Saatchi Gallery is all about?

   Isamaya had a similar opinion about Instagram, explaining, 'People just photovomit their lives onto Instagram and it causes confusion because there's no legitimacy. Quality is still the most important thing in professional creativity, and that differentiates the good from the bad.'

   But surely we don't need to address the good and the bad anymore. We all know what we like, what we enjoy looking at and what makes us double tap that photo on our feeds - why ruin that by applying a critic's perspective?

   Has Instagram created a segregation between the professionals and amateurs, when it was meant to bring us all together? Do professionals still put themselves above others, simply because they earn money for their art?

   Let me know your thoughts...


Monday, 21 September 2015

New In: Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare

   Perricone MD, known specifically for skincare with the anti-ageing ingredient, Neuropeptides, has just released a No Makeup Skincare range. This collection of fresh-faced makeup was designed to help minimize the appearance of wrinkles and pores, and protect the skin with SPF, keeping skin looking glowing and youthful - much like any other miracle makeup, right? 

   Well, out of all of the foundations I've been using during the course of 2015, the No Foundation Foundation by Perricone MD has been the only one that feels like it's done my skin a bit of good. I've used countless drugstore foundations that claim to improve blemishes, elasticity and dullness, but perhaps in this category of cosmetics price does make a difference (this foundation is £45, £12 more than my most expensive foundation, Chanel's Vitalumiére Aqua).

   The name of the product, No Foundation Foundation, says to me that the formula would be lightweight and almost translucent, as if you're not wearing foundation. However, the foundation provides quite high coverage, and takes a stippling motion to blend in rather than a sweeping motion to avoid brush marks. It's a similar case with the concealer - thick, opaque, and needs a good stippling.

   Interestingly, the foundation smells very medical. As soon as I applied the product to my face, I got a wave of clinical odour that reminded me of a trip to the hospital. In all honesty, I didn't really know what to think of this; obviously, no one likes to smell like a hospital, but it also made the products seem a tad more medically legitimate - if that makes any sense.

   One of my favourite products from this collection has got to be the bronzer. Easy to blend in, this formula appears quite dark at first, but lightens to a nice contouring shade with a few circular motions of a brush. It's a little difficult to handle without the help of a table, however, as you'll have to juggle a pipette and a slightly runny formula.

   The mascara is a great product: lengthening, natural very-dark-blown-to-black shade, and a brush that doesn't overload itself with product. Some people who prefer a wand with fibres, however, may find that this stiff, plasticky brush (somewhat akin to Benefit's They're Real!) is not for them. I'll leave that up to preference.

   If you love a super moisturising lipstick, then you'll love the product that ties the whole collection together: the No Lipstick Lipstick. Bringing a touch of colour to your overall look, this lip product is smooth, silky and applies like a dream. I can only compare it to the Clinique Chubby Stick for its dewy finish and subtle colour. PLUS it's packaged with a screw-top lid, meaning no missing lipstick caps in the makeup bag, keeping the product fresh and full of moisture.

   Overall I would say this collection is ideal for people with problem skin, because of its anti-ageing and protecting benefits. However, if you prefer 'no fuss' makeup, this is possibly a bit too much to bear, with its fiddly pipettes and patience-demanding stippling.

   If you'd like to see a demo of all of these products, check out the video below for my Subtle Bronzed Eye Makeup tutorial, in which I show you each product and how it applies to the skin. Enjoy!


Thursday, 17 September 2015

What Makes the Perfect Shoe?

   It goes without saying that shoes can make or break an outfit. Give a girl good shoes, and she can face the day with a spring in her step (figuratively, of course - I don't advise wearing shoes with springs for soles). Give a girl bad shoes and... well, we won't go there.

   So what makes a good shoe? Is it practicality or style? Is it fit or durability? Is it the way that they fit just right into this season's retro trends? There are many ingredients that go into a good shoe - but, for me, the ingredient that turns a good shoe into a showstopper is 'versatility'. I want a pair of shoes that can take me from a morning in the office to a lunch date with my sister, and then from dinner with my boyfriend to drinks with the girls. I want shoes that can keep me going all day and still make my outfit feel on point when it reaches 11pm.

   It may seem like I'm asking for a miracle, but one does come across the perfect shoe every once in a while - and I think I've found a pair *pinches self*.

   Deichmann, the century-old, family run shoemakers currently leading the European shoe market, has collaborated with the devastatingly stylish and equally talented blogger, former model and photographer, Hanneli Mustaparta, to create a collection so versatile that I squealed when I laid eyes upon the lookbook.

   Ranging from comfy and casual slip-on skate shoes to rockstar-worthy heeled boots with super cleated soles, this collection has a pair of shoes to go with any casj outfit - and they can even be dressed up for officewear or an evening out.

   It was difficult to pick a favourite, but I settled on the 'Over the Knee Boots', a jet black boot with a slight heel, rounded toe and the perfect height; these boots finish just above the knee, with a zip all the way down the inner leg. They're comfy, they're cool and they make me feel just a tad 60s - perfect for AW15! And what's more? These boots are £34.99. Yep - I had to look at that price tag twice, too. For an accessory that looks at least double that figure, I can't believe that I've ever come across such a steal before.

   I've found that I can easily style a whole week's worth of outfits around these boots - so that's just what I did, and I've included the best outfits in this post. Just to show how versatile they are, I shot three completely different looks, each with their own unique style and theme. I hope you enjoy the images, and please check out the Deichmann x Hanneli Mustaparta collab here if you feel inspired!


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

What to bring to LFW


  London Fashion Week is the most exciting biannual event for the country's fashion set; but if this is your first time getting up close and personal with journos, bloggers, photographers, designers and models, then it can seem a little daunting.

   Where do I go? Who can I talk to? Where do I sit? And, most of all, what do I wear?

   Don't panic. All of these things become obvious on the day, and it'll all just fall into place. But just to give you some reassurance, here are some tips on what to bring with you:

1. Tickets

These are the most important things of all, along with your LFW pass. You may be attending the shows for your blog, or on behalf of work - but either way, you'll need a ticket to get in on the action.

2. Phone + LFW app

If you're going to be Instagramming those vital catwalk moments, you'll need a smartphone with a good camera, as well as the official London Fashion Week app. The app (downloadable via Google Play and the App Store) provides you with the schedule for the week, and lets you organise your personal schedule, so that you don't forget where you're meant to be!

3. Portable charger

Zapped all your juice from constant gramming (see point 2)? Not to worry; your portable phone charger will keep you going all day. I recommend purchasing one with multiple charge capacity, as you can never underestimate how much you'll be using your phone.

4. Water

If the weather holds out this week, you'll need a bottle of water to keep you hydrated. However, even if it's raining, you'll definitely need a drink of some sort to keep you going when you're dashing from one show to another. Fainting isn't fashionable.

5. Notebook

Keep a notebook handy to write down your gut-instinct thoughts about each show, so that you can elaborate on them later in a blog post or article. 

I know, I'm old fashioned - but I like to keep my real notes separate to the 'Notes' app on my phone, otherwise I'll just forget about them. Also, I find that when people are writing notes on their phones, they just look bored and a bit disrespectful - at least a notebook makes it look like you're doing work, which you are!

© Art Style Love. All rights reserved.
Blogger Template by pipdig