Art Style Love

A fashion blog written by Jennifer.

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Monday, 23 March 2015

How to Maintain Long Hair

How to Maintain Long Hair by Art Style Love

   I've had long hair for as long as I can remember (except when I was three, and I had a slightly suspicious bob); however, it's only recently that I've realised I've become a bit of an expert on the subject. Try not to take this as big-headedness - I really mean that it hasn't all fallen off yet, so I must've done something right.

   Over the years, my hair's taken some heavy blows. I've straightened it to within an inch of its life, given up with that and had it chemically straightened, then (shock horror) decided to bleach it. And somehow, it's hung in there like that cat hanging onto a branch from that motivational poster in the 70s.

   This can only be down to all the intensive care I use on my hair to strengthen and maintain it. The hair at the bottom is probably about ten years old and, like a fur coat or a rug, it has to be given special treatment to keep it healthy and strong. In contrast to what the adverts tell you, I don't believe that you can repair hair, you can only maintain what you've already got. So here are a few tips for those of you with extra long hair, or those of you thinking of growing your hair to this length, and how to sustain its condition.

   (Remember that everyone's hair is different, so these tips are just a guideline for general use. You should always tailor your hair care to your personal needs! If you want to know my hair type, in case it's similar to yours, I have slightly wavy hair with fairly thin strands. The lower hair of my hair is bleached and the top half is my natural colour - a very dark brown. Generally, my hair, like my skin, is quite dry.)

1. It all starts with the scalp

   Once hair passes through your scalp, it's dead, and you can't do anything else to improve its condition - so your first action should be to make sure your scalp gets the nutrients it needs to produce healthy hair. For this you can use hair oils, masks and shampoos - but there's nothing better than using natural ingredients. I use coconut oil (Biona's the best) at least twice a week on my scalp and the ends of my hair; I massage it into my scalp and over the ends, leave it in for 45 mins to an hour, then wash it out using my normal shampoo.

2. Straightening is worse than bleaching

   I know a lot of people that would disagree with me on this, but unless you bleach your hair on a regular basis, straightening is much worse. When my mum cut me a rather precarious fringe at age 14 (pre-chemical straightening), I took the straighteners to it every morning. After a month or so, my fringe looked like a large collection of thin copper wires, and I tried to disguise it by wearing a sweatband every day. Not my finest hour.

   I've now come to love my slight wave, and I only use heat on my hair once or twice a week at most. This has significantly improved the appearance and texture of my hair (now that the frazzled bits have been trimmed off), and I would never go back to straightening it every day.

3. Put the hair brush down

   I don't know if this is still the case, but back in the day, French hairstylists only used their fingers to comb through their clients' hair. This reduces breakages and split ends by a serious margin - believe me, I've tested it - and the skin's natural oils will moisturise the hair, making it smoother and easier to manipulate. Just make sure you've got clean hands.

   On the other hand, it's a hard practice to keep up. Sometimes, you just need to brush your hair out and be done with it - after all, nothing can beat the silky smooth feeling of freshly-brushed hair. If this is the case, try a boar bristle brush rather than a synthetic one - you'll definitely notice the difference (especially in the amount of hair you have to hoover off your bedroom floor *sigh*).

4. It doesn't matter how often you wash your hair

   A lot of people say that if you wash your hair every day, it's somehow bad for its health. This might be true if you're using heaps of shampoo, as it tends to dry it out, but manage your products well and you'll have no problem. Use a 2 minute hair mask either instead of your conditioner or as well as, and only use a teaspoonful of shampoo on your scalp, not the ends. Seriously, a teaspoonful - you don't need anymore.

   I only wash my hair two or three times a week, simply because it can take over an hour to wash, dry and style it - not ideal for any busy girl. I use a nourishing shampoo, then a conditioner or hair mask, and nothing else. It's important not to overgunk your hair with chemical-filled products.
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Friday, 20 March 2015

6 Ultimate High Street Trench Coats



T O P   R O W

River Island - £85
Topshop - £68

B O T T O M   R O W

New Look - £39.99
Zara - £99.99
Mango - £89.99

   One thing that I noticed when compiling this post was that all of the coats I picked as my 'high street favourites' were neutral-coloured; I figured that this is just a personal attraction to camel, stone and white tones - don't take it as a colour selection that must be adhered to. The traditional colour of a trench coat is khaki; however, I've seen so many other colours and patterns that work just as beautifully, particularly pastels and florals.

   I feel like trench coats are masculine items of clothing with very feminine overtones; I think it's the tied waist that does it - a figure-accentuating 'must have', and a world away from the cocoon coats of this winter just passed. The buttons along the chest on some, but not all, trenches smarten up the look and vaguely militarises the wearer, so it'd be an idea to pick one with a more supple fabric to add femininity and elegance - plus, it swooshes while you walk. Bonus.

   There's no doubt that the trench is the ultimate spring coat. Pair it with skinny trousers, pointed courts and cat eye sunglasses for continental style, or wear it unfastened with ripped jeans and converse to style up a laid back look.

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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

How to Instagram Like a Boss

Instagram Like A Boss with Art Style Love

   Unless you're Taylor Swift, or a Kardashian, there's a strong chance you may not have 20 million avid Instagram followers to your name. However, you might be wondering how some bloggers achieve Instagram popularity reaching heights of hundreds, thousands or even millions of followers. But remember, it's not just about being popular - this isn't high school - Instagram has more users than Twitter, and it has fast become the most valuable social media platform for bloggers, business owners and celebrities alike; get noticed by your desired audience and your internet presence can shoot up overnight.

   On that note, I've comprised a few useful tips from the experts about tailoring your Instagram profile to match your blog goals. I'm not saying I can make you Instagram famous, but there's an art to posting visual content that'll get people double-tapping and hitting that 'follow' button.

1. Find a niche

   One way to gain attention is to squeeze yourself into a little niche and hibernate there indefinitely. Chances are, if you're hashtagging properly (see point 3), people will search for your niche and follow you when they find it. If you're looking for inspo on this point, take a look at Symmetry Breakfast's account - this is a guy in Hackney who only posts photos of, you guessed it, symmetrical breakfasts. Don't sneer; he's got over 184,000 followers.

2. Pick a theme

   When it comes to visual appeal, followers can get fussy. They want to scroll through their feeds in the morning and be instantly inspired by beautiful colours and objects, or exciting and interesting people; what they don't want to see is a mishmash of badly taken, grainy or blurry images, photos of food taken with the flash on, or blatant bathroom selfies. Pick a theme and roll with it - this can be anything from images always taken with a white background, to sets of pastel photos or unicorn metallics and sequins; anything goes, just make sure it's eyecatching, and don't forget to stick to it.


Flatlay by Art Style Love (@jenniferlouiselove)

3. Hashtag

   I've heard a few people say that too many hashtags are annoying/messy. You don't need these people in your life. Hashtags are the only way that people can find your profile; take them away and you may as well have sailed out to an island and trashed your boat on arrival. 

   A lot of people just wing it when they hashtag, because they can't think of anything appropriate, i.e. #layinginthesunhaha. If you're really stuck, you could go for one of these popular hashtags: #love (over 832 million posts), #cute (over 307 million posts) or #happy (over 272 million posts). However, these are perhaps too broad and may not attract your desired audience. In this instance, you may want to start thinking about your aforementioned niche - so, if you're a fashion blogger, you could start off with #ootd, #fashion, #streetstyle or #fblogger.

   Just remember, keep it relevant. People who tag #likeforlike, #followforfollow or #followme won't get much attention from genuine subscribers who actually want to take an interest in their blog.

4. Avoid Filters

   Just keep it real. If you're posting a selfie, you don't need any filters to mask your beautiful face! Filters were great when Instagram first took off - the whole concept was about taking photos with a vintage aesthetic and sharing them with your friends - but now, it's a different game. Your followers are interested in your reality, not some X-Pro II version of it.

   If you're desperately in need of some editing, Instagram has in-built tools to adjust exposure and focal points, etc. Or there are dozens of camera apps which will help you achieve the right aesthetic for your profile. Just, please, stay away from the filters.

5. Post at the right time

   I've been told that it doesn't matter when you post on Instagram, as users of the app can be active at any hour of the day. However, I think it's vital with any social media platform to understand your target demographic and post according to the times in which they'll most be active.

   For example, if your audience is adult professionals, they'll most probably be at work, and therefore unable to access their phones, during 9am-5pm. This means that they could be scrolling through their feeds when eating breakfast at 7am, on their lunch breaks at 12pm, on the train home between 5 and 6pm, in front of the TV at 7pm or in bed at 10pm. It's really up to you when you choose to post according to these time frames. 

   Also, if your target audience lives in a different country, or if you're on holiday when you're posting, get into the mindset of posting according to your audience's time zone. For example, if you're in London but most of your followers live in New York, you can't be posting at 8am once you've just woken up, because chances are everyone else will be asleep.


*

   I hope these tips have helped - and if you're looking for some inspiration, here are some of my favourite accounts. Follow away, and good luck with your Insta-endeavours (and don't forget to follow me: @jenniferlouiselove)!





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Monday, 16 March 2015

Top 10: Rose Gold/Copper Home Accessories


Photoframe by Paperchase - £10
Mug by Urban Outfitters - £25
Lamp by Cox and Cox - £175
Trinket Box by H&M - £5.99
Basket by H&M - £7.99
Pendant Light by Next - £40
Clock by Made - £29
Candle by Tom Dixon - £54
Trays by Nordal - £44
Candle Holder by Hay - £26

   Rose gold isn't just for jewellery; it's a beautiful colour to add to your home to provide a warmth in tone, and not to mention - it sparkles! And we love a good sparkle here at Art Style Love.

   Whilst designers pioneered this trend in late 2014, high street retailers are beginning to offer rose gold and copper accessories as part of their SS15 collections. From candles to clock, there's nothing that you couldn't find in this stunning metallic shade; pair with white and black marble and Nordic-style faux furs for instant minimalist Scandi style.
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Thursday, 12 March 2015

White On


   Flicking through the list of 'things that have happened today', I discovered that Matthew Lewis has made his Instagram profile public (@realmattdavelewis if you haven't followed him already), Disney has announced a Frozen sequel (squeal!), Shailene Woodley looks friggin amazing on US Elle (as she does ALWAYS) and, most importantly, I rediscovered my white leather jacket.

   Okay, that's not the most important thing that's happened today, but it got me pretty excited.

   This was bought for me as a gift around one and a half years ago by my lovely mother, and has unfortunately lived in my wardrobe since, as I couldn't for the life of me figure out what to wear it with.

   I knew it was one of those pieces that you could only wear with blacks or neutrals, but everything I paired it with just made me look like a trashy 80s tribute act. Today, I decided to try out a little more of a sophisticated look, without bordering on dressy; I popped on a dark grey turtle neck with a pearl choker, a pleated, black midi skirt and some heeled ankle boots. This is an outfit that I'd totally wear to work in the city (if I had a job in the city), and catch up with friends over my lunch break at some fantastic little café (if I knew where all the cool cafés were in London).

   The cat eye sunglasses are worn with caution, as I think a cat eye can really make a look far dressier than you intended, and the tote bag is my standard hold-all for daily essentials (yes, I need an entire oversized tote to carry my hoard of lipbalms, handcreams, tissues and odd Biros).

   I did get a few looks off people when I was wearing this, though I like to think that they're imagining I'm on my way to somewhere chic. #WishfulThinking.


SUNGLASSES - ZEROUV* / JACKET - RIVER ISLAND (similar here) / NECKLACE - DOROTHY PERKINS (simialr here) / TOP - NEW LOOK / SKIRT - H&M (similar here) / BAG - NEW LOOK / SHOES - NEW LOOK (similar here)
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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Kiko 'Eyebrow Expert Styling Kit' Review


    I'm an avid shopper of Kiko products; I'm slowly building up a monster-collection of highly pigmented wonder products (and I just can't get over how cheap they are!). This cute little compact is my latest addition.

   Featuring an eyebrow wax, two coloured powders and three miniature utensils, this handy, travel-sized product is endlessly useful for keeping your brows primped on the go.

   Included in the compact are a pair of tweezers (which are, by the way, really quite effective), an angled brush and a wand. As these are mini-sized, don't be surprised if you find them fiddly to use. I use my own makeup brushes with this kit, as they're not only easier to handle, but also easier to clean.

   In terms of performance, the powders are well-pigmented and create lovely definition. They're long-lasting, but if you need extra staying-power, you could always pop on a brow mascara as a finishing touch.

   Check out the video below for a little demo of the product!
  
   Whilst we're on the subject of eyebrows - I may be getting mine tinted for the first time this month. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


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Monday, 9 March 2015

You Seem Like Trouble to Me

OOTD by Art Style Love
OOTD by Art Style Love
OOTD by Art Style Love
OOTD by Art Style Love

DENIM JACKET - WAREHOUSE (similar here) / SUNGLASSES - ZEROUV* / EARRINGS - DOROTHY PERKINS / DRESS - NEW LOOK / CARDIGAN - VERO MODA AT ASOS (similar here) / SHOES - NEW LOOK (similar here)

   I've never imagined denim as a material that I could pull off - it's thick, has little room for stretching, and, on a note unrelated to appearance, completely lacks insulation. I've never found a denim piece that I've fallen in love with - I'm sure most women can relate when I say I've never found the perfect pair of jeans, and I doubt I ever will - but this denim jacket that I bought off a colleague for a fiver, comes close.

   I can just imagine this jacket on a leggy blonde (probably Blake Lively, or Taylor Swift) riding down Highway 1 in an open top Mustang, Stan Smith-donned feet dangling over the passenger door by the wing mirror, Beach Boys on the radio. Her boyfriend is wearing a matching jacket, but not in a cringe-fest Britney and Justin kind of way. They're driving somewhere cool, maybe to meet friends down at the beach to catch the sunset or to a relaxed get-together in someone's parent's back garden. It's late July and they haven't got anything to worry about until Summer ends and they go back to college.

   MEANWHILE, back in reality, I'm standing outside my local golf club after my boyfriend's played nine holes, trying to get a good picture without my hair flying into my face, somewhat turning me into a frustrated Cousin It. It's two degrees, my hands are turning blue (on the upside, they'll match my jacket), and I'm losing the light. Not metaphorically; it's literally getting dark at 5pm.

   On the plus side, I friggin love this jacket. It's just the right pinch of casual without bordering on scruffy. I would happily wear this for drinks with a pair of high-waisted, black jeans and some barely-there strappy heels. 

   Better still, wearing this has made me consider buying into this season's denim trend. I'm salivating over Stella McCartney's denim jumpsuits, Michael Kors' cocoon coats and Frame's white alternatives - though I'm still mulling over whether I can pull off these extrovert looks, or whether I should stick to the basics. What do you think? Do you have any stand-out denim pieces this season?

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