Monday, July 21, 2014

Art Appreciation | A Newbie's Guide To Loving Art Galleries

appreciating art galleries

Summer can be a great time to tap into your cultural side and with the British weather as erratic as it is, sheltering from the rain in an art gallery can be the best way to spend a day out. To some people galleries are difficult places to enjoy, and I agree that there can be a certain amount of snobbery surrounding them that can be off-putting for many. But art doesn't need to be inaccessible.
Here are my top tips to start your journey to becoming an art gallery enthusiast.

Broaden your definition of 'art' | When you think of art you normally associate it with things like the classical painters or even post-modern pieces, but what the world now considers art is actually pretty broad. If you're finding yourself bored looking at more traditional pieces, switch it up! There's a whole wealth of artwork that includes and isn't limited to sculpture, interactive pieces, photography, moving image, installations and more. Don't limit yourself to the bigger galleries either, the smaller ones will usually feature more unusual pieces or lesser known artists too.

Focus on art that you're drawn to | First of all excuse the pun! A big piece of advice if you're planning on going around a gallery unguided is to let your mind and eyes wander to pieces that intrigue you. There's not much point dwelling on a piece of art you don't get excited by - even if it is Starry Night by Van Gogh - when you could be looking at pieces that hold your attention better. When you see something that catches your eye, ask yourself, why? Who painted it? What style or era does this belong to? Take a quick photo - if you're allowed! - and then Google the artist or ask a guide what the piece is about.

Pick up a guide | I can't stress how good museum and gallery audio guides can be. Though the initial price may seem steep on top of your admission, if you really have no clue on what to expect from an art gallery it's a staple to pick up. Not only will you get a full run down on art that interests you, but they can also be useful to block out the sounds of babbling tourists too ;)

Wander into the travelling exhibition area | Usually in addition to the permanently housed pieces, larger galleries will play host to a touring exhibitions. These artworks may only be on display for a limited time, but as they usually just focus on one artist, theme or era, they tend to go into a bit more depth. Look at the art gallery's website to see which ones will be set to arrive and when. They'll also usually list a bit of background information on the artists and which pieces you'll expect to see.

Take it slow | In my opinion, art is not meant to be enjoyed at high speed. A lot of people tend to try and hit art galleries quickly but I'd advise giving yourself at least a full morning or afternoon for smaller galleries, and a whole day if it's something like the The Met or the Tate Modern. Rushing through rooms and barely looking at pieces is pointless, unless you're going for a specific piece or artist. And even then you could be missing out on some great artwork. Walk slowly, listen to music as you wander, take your time, take a seat, and bring a notepad or sketchbook to scribble in if you're feeling inspired.

Get home and Google | Your first port of call after you get home after a day at an art gallery is Google. Search the pieces you found interesting and see if there's any information on Wikipedia or the gallery website on them. You may even want to pick up a print online - usually as cheaper option than buying the museum shop! Getting on those search engines straight away is a great way of remembering the pieces you've seen and will help you reflect on why you enjoy them!

These tips may seem obvious, but they're baby steps to really getting into any kind of art form. The one thing to remember is to not feel pressured to like something. Art is totally subjective, so concentrate on finding art that you really love.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Review | Wet n Wild Eyeshadow Palette

WNW eyeshadow palette
Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette (5 pan) 'The Naked Truth'

Wet n' Wild is a brand I've pop up on multiple blogs and vlogs, usually when a Brit blogger has raided CVS in the States for a bargain. I actually stumbled upon these in the beauty section of the Duane Reade by my hotel and picked a palette up on a whim, but boy oh boy am I glad I did!

Wet n' Wild preach high quality at low cost and the only brand I can think of likening them to here in the UK would be something like Rimmel or maybe Boots' No7 range.

WNW eyeshadow back WNW eyeshadow swatch light WNW eyeshadow swatch dark
The palette I picked up is part of their 5 pan eyeshadow collection, which conveniently gives you an almost step by step process of where each shade should sit for a full look. I went for a pretty standard palette of nudes and browns called 'The Naked Truth', but it would be very easy to mix and match these shades with the others in the range and comes in at around $3-4 (depending on where you pick it up). 

For me this palette hits all the right notes. The texture is buttery soft, it blends remarkably well, and the pigmentation is fantastic. I seriously haven't come a palette like it at such a low price in a very long time. The downside is it isn't stocked in the UK - for all you American lovelies can luckily grab them in most drugstores! - though a quick Google comes up with some official eBay sellers, some bits and pieces on Amazon or smaller online stockists that ship Internationally. 
Fingers crossed they get a bit more popular so Superdrug or Boots can start bringing them over the Pond! can enter my current giveaway and win a similar mini palette all for yourself! :P Better be quick though, the giveaway ends 30th July! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Diploma-Ready Dresses | Graduation Appropriate Dresses

Graduation is so hard to dress for! On one hand you need an outfit that will still look great under those billowing grad gowns, but you also need something that will stand out on it's own once you've finished the official ceremony!

Never fear! If you're struggling for a last minute outfit, here are 3 fail-safe dress styles to search for that will look great on the day...

Low key but high impact | The minimalist look is very on trend at the moment and it's easy to see why. Single colour or colour blocked dresses are a good choice if you're after a dress you can dress up or down, depending on how formal or informal your ceremony is. To keep this look interesting add a statement necklace - think chunky jewels or a layered boho styles.

graduation-business pencil dresses
Smart but chic | You're a graduate who means business and ready to take on the world, so reach for a dress that reflects your new Sandberg-esque attitude. The 'pencil' dress is simple yet super flattering, so you really can't go wrong with any of these. And when you've finished up with graduation, you'll be able to break this out for those all important post-grad interviews and around the office of your first big adult-world too.

graduation-printed dresses
Popping prints | This style is all about giving people something extra to look at in between the folds of your dark ceremonial gowns. Florals are a safe bet especially for Summer ceremonies, but bold geometric or photographic prints are also all the rage right now too. And for an extra something to make this look stand out, contrast your dress colour with the colour of your grad gown.

Whatever you choose, the key is comfort. Graduation is big day and it'll be a long day, so make sure you're in something that'll make you look and feel great!


Friday, July 11, 2014

Wishlist | Summer Sale Picks

boots, Topshop//skirt, River Island//ring set, Urban Outfitters//coin necklace, H&M//maxi dress, Monki//shorts, Miss Selfridge//floral dress, Monki//patent handbag, Topshop//crop top, H&M//heels, ASOS

Back to regular programming ;) and I'm lusting over some fast fashion pieces at even cheaper prices. Summer sales are all over the shop (har de har), so I've done some snooping online and picked out some of my favourites I've spotted.

Despite not heading to any festivals any time soon I always get swept away with the boho trend that rolls around every year - must be my inner hipster or something - so maxis, florals and desert boots (to wear with floaty dresses) do make an appearance. One the opposite end of the scale, I'm loving the minimalist trends that are now becoming more prominent on the high street, shown here in the form of patent accessories and block coloured clothing.


Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Summer Souvenirs Giveaway!

Giveaway Header 1
As my little NYC series has drawn to a close here on the blog and I've also hit a couple of really cool milestones (over 300+ followers on Twitter, 100 followers on BlogLovin and 150 followers on Instagram! Crazy!), I thought it would be nice to give a little bit back to all you lovely people :)
So I have a mini souvenir giveaway for you with some goodies from my trip to NYC. 
NYC magnets Wet n Wild eyeshadow Paperchase notebook
  • Cool souvenir magnets I found in both Strand Bookshops in Soho and the New York Public Library
  • A compact Wet n' Wild eyeshadow ['Walking on eggshells'] which is a small version of the one I featured in my US beauty haul
  • Not from NYC, but a little pocket travel notebook from Paperchase, for when you go on your own adventures! 
I'll be running the giveaway until the 30th July and you can enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter entry form below!
On a sentimental note, I'd just want to say thanks to all of you guys for sticking with me during my crazy final year at University. As much as I loved school I'm super excited to get right back into blogging again, with some exciting plans in the works for the next few months!
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