Saturday, 25 April 2015

All About Dogs

   If you follow me on Instgram (@jenniferlouiselove if you don't!) you'll probably be accustomed to the occasional snap of one of my lovely dogs; my fluffy little bichon frise, Lili, and my big handsome boxer, Hero, love having their picture taken - a bit like these dogs, below.
   A few weeks ago, I went to the All About Dogs show in Suffolk's countryside, where I met a whole hoard of enthusiastic dog owners and their beautiful pets. We came across rescue centres, dog clothing retailers, activity paddocks and breeder stands, but it was worth the £9.00 ticket price just to walk around and coo over all the dogs. I couldn't stop snapping photos of all the amazing breeds - especially the puppies - but these images are my favourite:

Adult Northern Inuit
Pug Puppy
Chihuahua Puppy
Pug & Chihuahua
Pekingese (age unknown)
Adult Boxer


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Backstage: Filming with Kiko Cosmetics

   I couldn't think of anything that indulges my girly side more than having my hair and makeup prepped by professionals. I'm not typically girly: I'm more into admiring fashion than I am shopping, I tend not to wear any colour other than black, grey or nude, and I go to the hairdressers and nail salon about once a year. Not that these things automatically categorise you as girly, but I think they count for something.

   There's just something very exciting about someone introducing you to a new hairstyle, one that you may have never thought of trying yourself, or even cosmetics that you might not have tried before.

 Last week I worked with Italian makeup brand, Kiko Cosmetics, to create makeup looks for an exciting project coming up in the next month; this involved working with the fantastic Spring Studios and Kiko Cosmetics teams, and filming in a professional studio space in London's Kentish Town in Camden.

   I met some incredibly talented and kind people, who were so enthusiastic about the project they were working on. This included makeup artists, photographers, hair stylists, directors and, of course, beauty vloggers. I got the chance to meet six lovely girls, four of whom have YouTube channels: Abigail Kwakye, Mady Buth, Helly Jo and Monique Emmens. We shared stories and experiences about vlogging, drank way too much tea, and spent an exciting day filming for this amazing project, which will be revealed soon!

   In case you haven't heard of Kiko, here's a little bit of background info:

   Established in 1997 in Italy, they create affordable makeup for professionals and consumers. But don't be fooled by the prices; these products are highly pigmented, and highly effective. Their eyeshadows are, in my opinion, amongst the best in the market, particularly their Water Eyeshadow, which gives you a colour boost that you have to see to believe.

   I've been shopping at Kiko since I first came across their outlet in Westfield shopping centre, Stratford. After that, I was hooked, and I now have a nice little collection of go-to makeup products from CC Creams to lipsticks. I highly recommend giving them a go if you haven't already, and let me know what you think!

   Above is Swiss vlogger, Mady buth, who has longer hair than me - and that's saying something. She's got such a great personality, and great enthusiasm for her YouTube channel! Her hair is being styled by Roxy, a talented UK hairstylist who worked her magic on all of us.


Sunday, 19 April 2015

Weekend Wishlist 19/04/15

1. Top by Topshop - £12
2. Dress by Costello Tagliapietra - £840
3. Top by Zara - £25.99
4. Dress by Mango - £59.99
5. Shoes by Paul Andrew - £720
6. Sunglasses by ZeroUV - $9.99
7. Trousers by Monki - £20
8. Skirt by New Look - £17.99


Friday, 17 April 2015

Maybelline Dream Flawless Nude

   Recently, I've been rampaging through foundations like there's no tomorrow. I must've bought at least five in the last few weeks, all in the name of finding the perfect texture, shade and coverage.

   I prefer a lightweight foundation that doesn't feel super heavy by the end of the day - one which has sheer coverage and a slight golden undertone to match my skin colour. I'd like it to be dewy, not matte, and preferably long lasting. Ideally, application would be quick and easy, and I wouldn't have to fiddle around with screw tops falling off and rolling under my bed when I'm in a rush to get ready.

   That's not much to ask, right?

   I saw Maybelline's Dream Flawless Nude foundation on le TV, and rather piqued my interest with its interesting packaging and promise of a flawless base. I decided to pick one up from Boots in the hopes that it would be a damn sight better than the frankly awful Dream Matte Mousse (sorry if you love this product - it just didn't work out for me. At all.). However, I'm sad to admit that I was wrong.

   Being the cheapest out of all the foundations I've bought recently, I wasn't expecting fall-off-my-chair results - but I was expecting just a little bit of satisfaction. 

   The formula is so runny, making it rather difficult to apply with its ridiculous wand applicator. I would have been more forgiving if this foundation had a pump rather than a wand, as it's currently quite an inconvenient and lengthy process. If they'd have just designed the wand to feature a spongey end, that would have been a little more user-friendly - but it's completely stiff and doesn't spread the foundation evenly on your face.

   Secondly, the texture does nothing for the skin. It's matte, which I know a lot of people prefer, but it doesn't even give you a nice glow. I'm sure this might work for those of you with oily skin, but if you've got dry skin, I'd steer clear.

   Thirdly, though this is a sheer foundation, it's also rather heavy on the skin. When I hear the word 'sheer', I think lightweight and refreshing, not weighty and tiring. By the end of the day, I just want to get this product off my face with a good cleanser.

   Overall, it's not my cup of tea. However, at £5.99, it's not a huge regret. I've highlighted some more points about this foundation in the video below, plus I've included a really quick demo if you want to see how the product applies. Let me know what your thoughts are, and if you've tried this foundation out!


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Quick & Healthy Guacamole Dip

Ingredients (serves 2):

2 avocados
1 small red onion
Half a lime
1 tsp olive oil (optional)
Salt/pepper to season

   Often, I'm in need of a little afternoon snack on my days off when the 3pm slump makes an appearance. This could potentially result in a cupcake/chocolate/biscuit overload, but I usually have enough willpower to stop myself and put together a healthy little snack to get me through the last few hours of blog/uni work. Guacamole is great for this - it's an ideal filler between meals, and can be eaten with crackers, crisps or even carrot sticks for those of you who are carb-unfriendly.

   This recipe is really easy to learn, and you only really require avocados, plus anything you've got in your fridge. Sometimes I'll pop in a few quartered cherry tomatos, fresh coriander or jalapenos.

   Follow the instructions in the video below, then let me know what you think! 


Saturday, 11 April 2015

We Rode Our Bikes into the Sky

Outfit by Jennifer from
Outfit by Jennifer from
Outfit by Jennifer from
Outfit by Jennifer from
Outfit by Jennifer from
Outfit by Jennifer from

HAT - H&M (similar here) / SHIRT - NEW LOOK / JEANS - PULL & BEAR / SHOES - RIVER ISLAND (similar here)

   Having had one of the busiest few weeks in the history of my life, I relished the chance to have a day off to concentrate on my blog (yes, even on my days off, I still work). After a few hours composing scheduled posts, I decided to take a breather and go for a walk with my boyfriend. We live by the sea, so we tend to take for granted the fresh air, uncrowded streets and oceanic soundtrack - but because we're both so busy, we've learnt to appreciate these small moments of bliss over time.

   It was sunny, the wind was low and the air was crisp. As the light started to fade towards twilight, I decided that it would be a good time to work in a quick outfit shoot. However, quicker than I could slip on my favourite pair of heels, an almost opaque sea-mist drifted over the town in an uncannily Stephen King-like fashion. I had intended to use a stunning backdrop of rolling hills fading into the sea, but this was now completely out of the question - the mist was so thick that you could actually see it ebbing over the landscape.

   Instead of giving up, we decided to shoot the outfit anyway, and I'm really glad that I did. These photos are some of my favourite yet, simply because of that beautifully mysterious mist; however, I just wish I was wearing something a little more ethereal, like a vintage wedding dress or a sheer ballgown, to compliment the shoot.

   Oh well. You can't win 'em all.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

GIVEAWAY: L'Oréal Mattifying Primer

   I've been through my fair share of primers and, though they pretty much all do the same thing, I've found one that achieves great results for under £10; L'Oréal, one of my favourite drugstore brands, has just released a brand new primer as part of its best-selling Infallible collection, alongside a new matte foundation.

   This reliable primer stops shine, reduces the appearance of pores and keeps makeup in place. It's a clear gel that isn't greasy, and you really don't need to use a lot of it to get results (a pea-size amount, or smaller, is more than enough!).

   It comes in a handy, makeup bag-friendly tube with a screw top, and is ideal for quick application and everyday use.

   For more info, as well as a quick demo, check out the video below! You can also enter my giveaway to win one of these primers - just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 6 April 2015

My Photography Essentials

   I could harp on about photography all day if I could; but it's better to give me a camera and send me off on my way - I'll be gone all day and night. Having studied photography for three years, I've built up a nice little kit that does its job, so if you've seen my photos and would like to know what equipment I'm using, read on!

CURRENT KIT (as seen above)

HP Pavilion G6 Laptop
Kindle HDX Tablet
Canon 50mm Lens
SanDisk 16GB Memory Card
Canon Battery Pack
Tamron 70-300mm Lens
Canon EOS 600d Camera with Canon 18-55mm Lens

   The Canon 600d is my current weapon of choice. It shoots 1080p video (great for filming beauty and fashion videos for my YouTube channel) and 18 megapixel stills; however, my favourite feature, and one which has come in handy more times than I can count, is the swivel screen. This makes it so much easier to take shots at tricky angles, and it really helps when filming, as I'm able to see what I'm doing.

   It's not a professional camera, but it does its job really well. I'm hoping to upgrade in the next year or so to a more professional grade of Canon DSLR.

    When aiming for a great shot, half of the outcome lies in the lenses you use. Below are the three lenses which I most rely on:

- Canon 18-55mm (left) - used for taking flatlays and product shots. This lens comes with the camera, but it's incredibly useful because of its wide focal range.

- Tamron 70-300mm (middle) - used for nature shots. This is my least used lens, as I tend to only take nature shots when I'm on holiday, but it's great for capturing close-ups of subjects that are really far away. When using this lens, I recommend connecting it to a tripod as it's pretty heavy and can make your hands shake.

- Canon 50mm (right) - used for outfit shots and taking video. This is great for playing with light to create bokeh, or creating blurred backgrounds to make your subject matter stand out more. It has a fixed focal length, which means you have to move around more as you can't zoom in or out. It's also really light and easy to store when you're not using the camera. Plus, it's super cheap (I got mine for around £80 from Amazon).

    I can never have enough memory cards. This one above is a SanDisk 16GB, which I bought for filming YouTube videos; however, I didn't know that I needed a higher class of SD card in order to keep up with the high bit rate of video. Because of this little mistake, I had to start recording in a smaller file size. This SD card is a class four, but I recommend getting a class six or higher, or a card with a higher write speed (i.e. 45MB/s).


Multiple batteries - there's nothing more heartbreaking when you've just hit magic hour and you run out of juice

A sturdy camera strap - you don't want your pride and joy slipping out of your hands

Tripod - I mentioned this earlier when talking about my Tamron 70-300mm lens, but really it's great for use with any lens, especially in low lighting

Remote control - not just for taking selfies; this accessory is a real help when you're taking group shots, or when you need to keep the camera really still and can't press the shutter release (i.e taking night shots)

Studio lighting - if you're getting serious with your YouTube channel and would like to enhance the lighting in your videos, buy a softbox kit - they're pretty affordable (around £50) and usually come in sets of two. Similarly, these are great for home studio photography (however, I always prefer natural lighting).


Friday, 3 April 2015

Summer Wardrobe Revamp - What to Buy First

   There's an annoying little moment that comes around twice a year - an almost 'blink and you'll miss it' moment - where the weather just decides to do its own thing without notifying you. How dare it.

   Yes, I'm talking about transition periods. The points between winter and summer that can't just be identified as spring and autumn, but also as confusing and frustrating times in your life when you just wish you had a portable wardrobe which could follow you around and supply you with new clothes when it rained, and store your layers when it was sunny.

   Unfortunately, as this handy device hasn't been invented yet (I'll be the first to invest in the genius that does), we'll have to make due with tried and tested transition techniques (try saying that five times really fast) such as layering, checking the weather at multiple points in the day, and leaving your house as little as possible. Just kidding. But seriously, here are a few tips on what kind of pieces will get you through this frankly terrifying time of year.

   These are the basics: camis, t-shirts, above-the-knee dresses, duster jackets, lightweight trousers and closed-toe shoes (no sandals here, unless you like getting your feet wet in a rainstorm). Jeans are a maybe, as the insulative properties of denim aren't that great - so don't go wearing denim if you're going to be standing outside all day.

   In terms of fabrics, pick anything that's breathable. Chiffon or silk-style materials will tend to stick to your skin if it gets hot, whilst linen and cotton will keep you cool. Breathable fabrics are also great for layering because they're lighter, and easy to tuck away in your bag when you're not using them (in contrast to, say, a chunky-knit jumper or leather jacket).

1. Cami by Topshop - £22
2. Tee by Zara - £7.99
3. Jersey Dress by Cos - £49
4. Coat by H&M - £29.99


   Once you've grasped the basics, you can start adding in pieces that reflect your personality. However, you should keep the word 'transition' in mind - i.e. you might not want to wear a faux fur coat because, although it probably looks fabulous, it's undoubtable that you're going to get too hot.

   Experiment with patterns, colours and silhouettes to bring out the best in your personal style.

1. Jacket by River Island - £65
2. Top by Miss Selfridge - £20
3. Skirt by Alexander Wang - £155
4. Boots by Office - £85
5. Fedora by ASOS - £27.50


   The final step is to pick your accessories. However, before you go mental, remember to think practically - a large tote is great for throwing your layers into when you get too hot and a folding umbrella is essential in case of torrential downpour.

1. Umbrella by New Look - £7.99
2. Tote by Dolce & Gabbana - £1,200
3. Phone Case by Skinny Dip London - £12
4. Sunglasses by zeroUV - $9.99
5. Scarf by Selected - £42
6. Lip Crayon by Laura Geller - £13

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

How To: Half Up, Half Down Bun Hairstyle

   With my length of hair, I can never find any YouTube hairstyle tutorials to suit - apart from the usual milkmaid braid (which leaves me looking like Alexa from 50 First Dates) or a fishtail plait (which I'm simply too lazy to attempt). This is why I tend to create my own, or adapt hairstyles that I see on other people.

   I saw a version of this half up, half down bun worn by a girl on Instagram; although she had much shorter hair than mine, I thought that it could look quite interesting if I added something extra to the bottom half of my hair. Firstly, I created the bun with a little volume on top, then decided to curl the rest, creating depth and dimension.

   For this, I didn't use any hair products (apart from heat protection - ALWAYS use heat protection!) - just two hair ties and a straightening iron to create the curls. If you're wondering how I do this, you can watch my How To video here.

   This is a super quick hair style that can be created in less than five minutes if you've already curled your hair, or around 15 minutes if you haven't. Check out the video below for the step-by-step tutorial!

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