Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Zara Skull Print Tee

   In the past year or so I've really taken an interest in Zara, simply because of their high level of luxury goods and service for a high street store. Their clothes suit my workwear style (and, on the odd occasion, casual) with a plethora of block-coloured, perfectly-tailored, non-offensive clothing. 
  It really is a luxury brand, however, you don't always realise this until you buy from their website.

   First of all, their webpage mimics that of a luxury designer brand, with Flash-required imagery, sleek photos and a tidy font. Ordering is made easy, with free collection from a store, or standard delivery at £3.95. If you choose the standard delivery option like I did, you'll receive email alerts nearly every day updating you on the whereabouts of your order. Sometimes this can be annoying, sometimes this can be helpful - up to you. They give you the time your item will be delivered to the exact hour, which was actually correct when I received mine.

   Now, I'm a Zara Online newbie, and so I was quite excited when I opened the package to find a neat little box with the company's name printed on the lid...

   AND your order is wrapped up in white tissue paper with a sticker from its collection season!

   So here's my t-shirt (£5.99, I might add), complete with an artsy tag.
   It's really cute and whimsical with the little speech bubble saying, "HEY!"
   It is meant to be baggy - I got a 'small' and it feels about a size 10, so stay true to your size and don't buy too large..
   The fabric's really comfortable and, to continue from what I was explaining earlier, it adds to the luxury feel of the brand.


Friday, 25 January 2013

Work to Evening

   I always face a dilemma of what to wear when I finish work late on a Saturday and have barely enough time to get ready. Work to evening transitional outfits are a lifesaver when you're in this situation, and today, I discovered a pretty little peplum top from New Look that really did the job.

   This 'Black Marl Dip Hem Peplum Top' was only £14.99, and features short sleeves and a peplum that dips at the back (hence the title). The fabric is elasticated and imitates the appearance of the mineral 'marl', giving it a speckled effect.

   For the workwear part of this look, I paired the top with black disco pants from Boohoo.com, Dorothy Perkins shoes that I reviewed earlier this year, an H&M black and white blazer and a houndstooth bag from Marks & Spencer.

   For the evening look, I switched to my Boohoo.com black platform shoe boots, an orange New Look clutch, a gold gated necklace from Primark and an ear-cuff from Topshop.


Thursday, 24 January 2013

Pinterest Finds: DIY Fashion


   I've been on Pinterest so much lately as there are so many new inspiring images to look at! My style in terms of clothing, home decor and makeup (especially nail art) is definitely broadening and I'd class Pinterest as an essential tool in my everyday life.

   I thought I would share with you my most recent DIY Fashion find on Pinterest, as I think this particular idea is a revelation!


   Embellished bras!

  It's something so simple that you could do yourself with a plain bra and some studs/diamantes/sequins... the list is actually endless.

  If you've got a top with large armholes, this would be great to wear underneath as the embellishment would add some glitz to your outfit.

  A cheap black bra would be adequate and the materials for embellishing can be found really cheap on Amazon or eBay.

  You could even find a plain black bralet/corset top, smack on some jewels or studs and wear it out as it is (though do put a coat on when you're outside - I don't condone freezing in the name of fashion).

   Above is a short picture-based tutorial of how to embellish a bra with pyramid studs. Try it for yourself?


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Geek Chic

   You may have seen me tweeting about this earlier today. If not, follow me for instant updates (@JLouiseArtist) -- link is at the side >>>

   Winter, and the dreaded snow, is fading away and the platform shoe boots are slowly emerging from the wardrobe again. Finally, I can lose the Uggs and walk in heels without the anxiety of slipping on the ice.

   Today I decided to pair my Boohoo.com boots that I reviewed here: http://www.artstylelove.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/galaxy-platform-shoe-boots.html with a 'Geek Chic' jumper that I purchased from Madison Boutique. Though they only had it in a size 10, I think it looks great as an oversized jumper or jumper dress over leggings. 
   I have to admit, I wasn't a big fan of this 'geek' trend when it first came out, however I think the odd piece can find a home in my wardrobe.

    I wore a knitted headband from H&M to fight the freeze and protect my little ears from turning a sad shade of crimson.


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Lush Review

  Everybody knows Lush. Whether it's that smell you get when you walk past a shop, or the fact that they use completely natural ingredients in cool eco-packaging, we all know the brand in one way or another.

   Today I'm reviewing some products that I received at Christmas, tested and loved!

   First off is Ro's Argan Body Conditioner.

   This is pretty much what it says on the tin. It's a conditioner, but for your skin. You rub it on in the shower or bath, rinse it off and then you have soft and lovely-smelling skin for the rest of the day!
   One of the main ingredients in this skin conditioner is argan oil - you may have seen this advertised in miracle hair oil products. This oil is one ingredient that really works. I use Moroccan Argan Oil (£4.99 from Boots) as a hair product and, quite honestly, my hair has never been softer or shinier. After using Ro's Argan Body Conditioner for several days, I have actually noticed that my skin has done the same thing. It definitely feels smoother than it was before, defying the persistent effects of cold weather.
   There are two things I dislike about this product. The first is how my skin feels straight after putting the skin conditioner on. The product makes it feel like it's coated in another skin. Strange sensation, but it obviously disappears when you dry off. The second is that you have to use a lot of the product to do your whole body, which makes it rather expensive per use.

   Rating: 7/10

Twilight Shower Gel.

   Twilight is a great product for those who haven't tried Lush products before. It's a purple gel that, when shaken, sparkles! And who doesn't love a bit of sparkle? As it states on the packaging, it smells of lavender, which is genuinely relaxing.
   When you use it in the shower it creates a really bubbly lather and it's great value for cost per use as one little bottle can last for weeks.
   In terms of the effect it has on your skin, it's basically like any other shower gel. It doesn't have any skin softening traits like the conditioner (above), but it does cleanse and make your skin smell lovely!

   Rating: 8/10

Tiny Hands Massage Bar.

   I have used Lush massage bars for a long time and I absolutely swear by them. They last for ages, even if you use them every day, and they make your skin so soft and moisturised.
   The real secret behind the success of the massage bar is the word 'massage'. Massage, in general, is used to relax, which is exactly what you're doing when you use the bar. You rub the oils into your skin, stimulating your muscles as you go, creating a really relaxing vibe. This would work even if you didn't use the massage bar, it's just there for softening your skin on top of the effects of massage.
   The Tiny Hands bar is pretty much the same as any of Lush's massage bars, however I've found that its smaller size makes it easier to handle than the larger bars.

   Rating: 10/10

Snowcake Soap.

   Once upon a time, this piece of star-shaped Snowcake had a golden glitter topping. However, I forgot to take a photo of it before I tested it so here's a generic photo off the website:

    Snowcake is a fun little soap that you can either use as a hand soap or in the shower/bath. Its golden glitter coating rubs off on the first wash which is a shame, but it looks pretty to begin with!
   It's a really soft soap that rubs into a light and gentle lather, and I found that the star shape makes it really easy to handle so it doesn't slip out of your hand while washing. Another bonus: it has a gorgeous marzipan-scent which makes your skin smell like sweets!

   Rating: 8/10

   One thing I'd like to try is Lush's Emotional Brilliance range. It features lipsticks, eyeliner, cream eyeshadows, mascara, face powder and skin tints, all with very uplifting names like 'Perspective' and 'Intuitive'. Prices begin from £12.00, which isn't bad for all natural ingredients.


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Miss Selfridge Preview 2013

    I don't always shop at Miss Selfridge, but when I do, I ask myself why I don't shop there more often.

   First of all, they always have my size (6/8) which is a miracle as some other shops seem to be lacking in that department. Sometimes I walk into New Look and all I see is size 18...

   Secondly, the clothing at Miss Selfridge is a perfect blend of laid-back casual and lady-like smart which gives me a great range of casual wear and office wear. It's like a grown-up girly shop, encompassing my style in a nutshell.

   Finally, it's pretty much the same price-wise as all the other high street shops I buy from - bar H&M, but even they seem to have got a teeny tiny bit more expensive, or is that just me?

   More to the point, Miss Selfridge have their 2013 Lookbook available to view on their website: www.missselfridge.com

  They say their new collection gives 'a delicate nod to the carefree spirit of the 1970s'. I agree, though sometimes they make it too easy to look like Jenny in Forrest Gump (see right).

    That aside, the Lookbook shows some great new clothing, especially girly dresses in pastels and lace, alongside some deep-south style washed out denim and the more edgy, black lace dresses. Pretty much what's been selling for the past two S/S seasons, but hey, what sells sells.

   Here's a little screen shot of the Lookbook on the website:

Spring Summer 13 Lookbook 

   Miss Selfridge already have some 'New In' clothing that reflects this style. Below, I've selected a few pieces that give a little taste of what you will expect to see this year:

Floral Playsuit, £40.00
Nude Diamante Slipper, £25.00
Nude & Lace Shirt Dress, £39.00
Lace bra top, £26.00
Laser Cut Heel, £46.00
Bleach Ultra Soft Jean, £36.00


Maison Talbooth

   There's something that we all have in common in our beautiful little kingdom: weather.
   Rain, wind or shine, we can always find solace in talking about the weather. Whether it's making small talk at the bus stop, or during the adverts with your partner, the familiar topic gives us all something to talk about.
   Snow, as much as I really cannot stand it, has brought all of Britain together over the past few days. Some of us hate it (i.e. those who drive), some of us love it (i.e. kids trying to get a day off school), but it affects all of us. 
   Today, at the picturesque hotel, Maison Talbooth, the snow was ragingly persistent. The grounds were coated in a thick white blanket, creating a lovely photo opportunity, but it was absolutely freezing.
   When I got inside, the fire was roaring, the big armchairs were so comfy and a pot of Earl Grey just topped it off. I could have laid down and fallen asleep.
   Being inside, watching the snow falling through the window, it was like everyone in that room was there together - totally unlike the 'keep-to-yourself' Britain that we're so used to. For those few hours of afternoon tea, I actually liked snow.

   To have afternoon tea at Maison Talbooth, I wore my black playsuit that I reviewed here: http://www.artstylelove.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/review_30.html

   My Dorothy Perkins heels that I reviewed here: http://www.artstylelove.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/review.html

   Raspberry and black crackle Barry M nail paint (pictured below), a pearl necklace and an opal ring.

   The afternoon tea, costing £17.50, consisted of a variety of sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, and a variety of cakes, all with your choice of tea.

   This was such a goregous tea pot (below). It looked like an ornament - so beautiful!

   The Maison Talbooth webpage can be found here: http://www.milsomhotels.com/maisontalbooth/default.aspx


Thursday, 17 January 2013


   Work shoes are always an issue with me. I'm on my feet a lot so it's impractical to wear towering high heels (though I wish I could), but when I'm wearing flats you can barely see me above the shop counters.

   I've decided I'm going to have to try a mid-heel. A 'not too tall, not too short' heel will prolong achey feet and give me some height so customers won't think I'm a lost child.

   In the Dorothy Perkins sale, I spotted a sparkly pair of cut-out, pointed toe, mid-heel shoes. Although they were a five which is one size too big for me, the pointed toe made them feel significantly smaller.

   They were in the sale, so I got them for £15.00 - another bargain!

   I'm finding it a tad difficult to walk in them as the cut outs make my ankles want to twist inwards for some reason, but as I wear them I'm sure I'll get used to it.

   Wear with black cigarette trousers and a cute animal print tee.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Achieve This Look

Pinned Image

   This is an image I repinned on Pinterest, uploaded by Claudio Mugarra (http://pinterest.com/perroespacial/).
   I pinned it because it's so effortlessly cool it makes me want to cry. The clubmaster sunnies, the beanie, the layered shirt and the setting of an outside apartment stairway make this shot so inspirational, fashion-wise and photography-wise.

   If this look is something you want to recreate, I've selected a few high street pieces that could help you accomplish it:

Sunglasses, ASOS, £12
Lion print tank top, River Island, £22
Floral shirt, Topshop, £38.00
Cross necklace, Missguided.co.uk, £7.99
Navy beanie, River Island, £10
Shorts, Mango, £14.99


Galaxy Platform Shoe Boots

    A few months ago I posted about some beautiful platform shoe boots I got from Boohoo.com, and I mentioned a pair on Missguided.co.uk that I was thinking of buying (http://www.artstylelove.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/fashion-blogging-platform-shoe-boots.html). The pair of shoes from Missguided.co.uk were £35.00, which is a good price considering they're gorgeous and quite sturdy so they're great value at cost per wear. However, about five days ago I saw the exact same pair on Boohoo.com, but they were £20.00. A whole fifteen pounds off made these shoes an absolute steal, so I bought them immediately. 

   Today I saw a little Boohoo.com package at the end of my bed, which I opened and excitedly tried on my new galaxy platform shoe boots.

   The galaxy pattern isn't the common mix of midnight blues, purples and greens; it's more of a sky blue colour mixed with a baby pink and dotted with little white glowing stars. The laces are beige and the heel is the usual wood texture.

   Although these look great, the material doesn't seem as sturdy as the black fur boots that I previously purchased from Boohoo.com (as seen in the above link). Also, they squeak slightly when I walk, which is the sound of the material kinking. An awkward downside, however, the appearance compensates.

   All in all I'd say these shoes are a great buy, and even if you don't like them THAT much, £20 is still a bargain.


Monday, 14 January 2013

Golden Globe Makeup: Blue Eyes

   Even though it's snowing, and it's too cold to think, it's still a beautiful day to be alive! Walked downstairs to find these beauties in the kitchen (below) - what girl can say no to roses?

   So today I was searching through Twitter for photos from last night's Golden Globes. It's more than appropriate to say that some of the attendees have really upped their game. Anne Hathaway looked so chic with that 'Les Miserables' haircut, and Amanda Seyfried rocked sleek blonde waves and elegant makeup.

   I noticed a few trends going on, one of which was blue eyeshadow, worn by Nicole Richie who went for an icy tone and Kerry Washington who kept it dark with a midnight shade.

   Though I've really despised anything lighter than navy on the eyes after Steps' all-blue disaster on TOTP in '98, I think I can be pushed a few tones lighter to a turquoise after seeing how well it worked on Nicole Richie.

   To see if I could actually pull off the look, I've done a little tester tutorial here for turquoise eyes:

For this, I'm using my 'Tricks of the Shade' palette by Soap & Glory. It's the first time I've used it, as I got it for Christmas and I've never tried any of the makeup range by Soap & Glory before.

Firstly, apply a primer. You can use any primer, but I'm using a foundation that I bought but it was too light a colour for my face so I use it as my primer.


Next, apply your shade of blue. I'm using the metallic blue from the 'Tricks of the Shade' palette. Apply this all over your lid, from corner to corner and slightly above the crease.

Apply a matt cream shade just under your eyebrow, blending it in with the edge of the blue. You don't want to use a metallic cream or white shade as the look will become less demure and more drag queen.

Lightly tap your angled brush into a charcoal shade and apply it to your bottom lashes. Don't make it too dark as we want the focus to be on the blue.

Use a gel liner or liquid eye liner pen to create a slick black line with a tiny flick at the end. I'm using Soap & Glory's 'Supercat' liner pen. 

Try not too make the line too thick otherwise the blue will get lost.

Finally, apply your mascara.

Done! That was more simple than I thought. Your finished shadow should look a bit like this (below).

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