Beauty and Fashion

This New Art Competition Will Keep You Entertained Until Project Runway Is Back

If you’ve lost track of which day of self-quarantine you’re on and could use a little creative motivation, Ganni has got you covered. The ultra-cool Danish brand recently launched a project called “Home Is Where The Heart Is,” which encourages people to produce artwork centered around that very theme. But this is much more than a creative exercise — it’s also a competition.

Anyone can submit their piece(s) online, and a panel of judges, including Ganni creative director Ditte Reffstrup, will have the final say in who takes the top spot. The winner will receive a €1500 gift card (about $1,600), while runners up will receive €500 gift cards (about $551). While it’s not clear just how many pieces will be chosen in total, according to the brand, the selected works will be featured as part of its pop-up exhibition in Copenhagen, tentatively scheduled for August 2020.

“We are in this together, even though we are separated in our homes,” Reffstrup said. “This is my way to reach out to [the] community and hopefully inspire positive creativity and unity in our community. By asking for submissions in this way, it really feels like the right way to share ideas and emotions. I can’t wait to see the results of this project.”

The only rules for entering? The artwork can be anything — a painting, an illustration, a collage, a photograph — but it must be tied back to the theme. It also needs to be original and unpublished.

To throw your artistic hat in the ring, post on Instagram with the hashtag #GanniWFH, or email your entry directly to [email protected] But the sooner you get to creating, the better: The deadline to submit is April 3 at midnight.

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Beauty and Fashion

The Art Of Video Call Makeup: What To Know Before Your Next Zoom Meeting

Working from home is a major adjustment in almost every way. Some of those are positive (no pants required) and others are, well, a little more complicated (endless distractions). If you’ve recently transitioned to working from home, it can be hard to navigate — even without a pandemic to worry about. While you’ve probably read all the advice about making sure you get ready for the day, make your bed, and take breaks regularly in order to stay productive at home, there are some things that are a little less common to navigate. For example, do you adjust your appearance for a video call in the same way you would for a meeting in the office? In other words, if you would usually wear a business casual outfit and minimal makeup at work, should you do the same for a video call?

It can be hard to know exactly what’s best, so I spoke to three experts. Austen Tosone is the beauty content director at Jumprope and a former freelancer, meaning that when it comes to WFH beauty, she’s pretty much an expert.

"For me right now, I have a lot of Google Hangouts team meetings and virtual coffee dates — wearing makeup gives me that look good, feel good mentality that I think definitely makes me feel like I’m more ‘on’ than I would be if I chose to skip makeup," Tosone says over email, noting that because her job centers around beauty, she often has meetings with others in the beauty space where makeup serves as an important connection.

While Tosone says wearing makeup on video calls is definitely a personal preference, she notes that minimal makeup is a safe bet if you’re looking to feel a little more polished, but still stay comfortable.

"For me personally, applying moisturizer, a CC cream, a tiny bit of bronzer/blush, brow gel, and mascara makes me feel good to go. I likely won’t do my full-on every day routine but just something to make me feel confident and ready to go," Tosone says, recommending products like IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream, Glossier Boy Brow, and Wet N’ Wild Mega Lash Mascara.

Taylor Dempsey, a makeup artist for SIIA Cosmetics, echoes Tosone’s opinion that sometimes simpler is better when it comes to makeup for virtual meetings. Another benefit of a simple, consistent makeup application? It might make you feel calmer. Dempsey explains over email that, for her, sticking with a consistent beauty routine is a form of self-care.

"Just like wearing makeup to work helps in creating a polished look and conveys confidence and power, the same is true at home, especially over video calls," Dempsey says, suggesting SIIA’s Easy and Rich Brow Pencil, Silky Smooth Primer, and Seamless Fit Foundation Duo as a few key products.

Work in a slightly more formal business setting and trying to navigate dressing for video calls? Vicki Salemi, career expert for Monster, says to simply follow the same standards you would for a regular meeting in the office.

"Wear what you’d wear to a meeting [and] look professional and polished. For many, that includes makeup," Salemi says over email. "I’ve been told by makeup artists that in many instances yes, makeup can help some features pop more on video calls that may otherwise look washed out due to the nature of technology and poor lighting on the video call, etc."

The most important thing about wearing makeup — in any type of setting — is that you feel confident. Ultimately, that’s what is important to keep in mind when getting ready for a video meeting or any event at all. Salemi also points out that you want to feel "professional, polished, and confident" during these calls, but more like yourself, too.

"If you’ve barely worn makeup to work and then suddenly feel like you need to wear false eyelashes so your eyes pop during the video call, you may not feel like yourself on the call, and may be distracted [or] concerned about your eyelashes rather than the focus of work itself," Salemi says.

If you’re still finding it difficult to decide how little or much makeup to wear, Salemi and Tosone both suggest keeping thing things simple with basic mascara, blush, and concealer. Something that might be more important than makeup, though? Lighting.

"Lighting matters," Salemi says. "For instance, if a window is behind you, it could create a shadow over your face and makeup or not, it will be difficult for colleagues to see you. Try to sit opposite an open window and if the room is dimly lit, try adding floor or desk lamps to amplify lighting."

Dempsey agrees that lighting is key to video calls and also notes that making sure your eyes are visible (both by utilizing proper lighting and specific makeup) is key in virtual meetings.

"Most of us talk with our eyes, so if those are defined you’ll be able to convey your messages through the screen as well as you can in person," Dempsey says.

At the end of the day, working from home can be a a whole new world if you’re not used to it — and that includes deciding how to look in meetings. If you’re at a loss, simply try to emulate how you’d normally look for a day at the office or a big meeting. And if you’re really stuck when it comes to makeup, just remember: Odds are your male colleagues haven’t thought twice about this.

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An artist makes tiny model homes by hand, and they look incredibly realistic

  • Los Angeles-based artist Chris Toledo is a photographer and skilled artist who creates miniature sculptures of homes and historical interiors.
  • The self-taught artist developed a passion for both sculpting miniatures and historical architecture when he was just 9 years old.
  • Toledo told Insider that his sculptures can take anywhere from one month to two years to finish.
  • "My favorite response to my work is people telling me how a particular room reminds them of their childhood home or a place they once lived," Toledo said of his sculptures. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Los Angeles-based artist Chris Toledo creates miniature sculptures of realistic interiors.

Toledo grew up in Los Angeles, California, and was fascinated by architecture and history from an early age.

"My mother loved to paint and sew her own clothes, while my father loved to build furniture in his free time," Toledo told Insider. "So I was always surrounded by inspiration."

In pursuing his interests, he eventually developed a career out of constructing extremely detailed sculptures at a 1:12 (one-inch) scale.

He started designing and creating miniature sculptures at just 9 years old.

"When I was 9, I had discovered the world of dollhouse miniatures in a magazine that I found in a doctor's office and instantly became obsessed," Toledo said. "These weren't your typical pink plastic Barbie dream houses; they were hyperrealistic works of art by artists all over the world that spared no detail from their life-sized counterparts."

"I was instantly hooked," the artist added. 

The artist learned how to work on a small scale by using pre-made sculpting kits from a local hobby store.

"The kits allowed me to become familiar with working at a smaller scale, and helped develop my miniature eye," Toledo explained.

By the time he was 13 years old, Toledo decided that he wanted to build his own designs from scratch rather than limiting himself to the kits.

Toledo told Insider that Los Angeles architecture inspired some of his designs.

"When it comes to my work, I pull inspiration from my love of historic architecture and my surroundings," Toledo said. "Having lived in Los Angeles my entire life, I always loved the heavy revival-influenced architecture [of the city]."

Most of Toledo's sculptures incorporate design trends that were popular in the early 20th century.

"To ensure complete historical accuracy, I rely on a series of historic books I've collected from the early 20th century that outline the designs and building techniques of the period," the artist said. "I like to bring awareness to historical architecture with my pieces and remind people of a time where architecture was a reigning form of art."

The artist's Instagram page is filled with images of sculptures that appear to incorporate a 1920s aesthetic. The kitchen in the photo above, for example, features a black-and-white tile floor, a popular design trend from the '20s.

A single-room creation can take up to a month for Toledo to finish, while sculptures of an entire home may take him a year or longer.

"Through my work, I love giving myself and others a chance to peer into the past with their own eyes and be able to touch and feel the history," Toledo said.

The intricate designs may seem like they require a unique set of skills, but Toledo said that building a miniature is similar to building a real home in some ways.

The artist explained that many of the tools and materials he uses are just scaled-down versions of their normal counterparts.

"When creating my pieces, many of the steps are much like those of building a real home," Toledo said. "I start with a crude layout design and move on to more accurately drawn blueprints. One of my most used tools is a table saw that fits in a shoebox."

In order to bring his work to life and make the sculptures appear more realistic, Toledo said he incorporates aspects of "wear and tear" into the rooms.

One of the final steps in his sculpting process is making the interior decor appear aged. 

"I love the look of wear and tear because it truly gives my pieces a soul and a lived-in look," Toledo told Insider. "In full-sized homes, it's common to see scuffs along the baseboards, handprints around doorknobs, and cobwebs in the corners of the room. These are the things I love to bring into my miniature pieces."

If it weren't for the props Toledo places in the rooms, you would never realize just how tiny his sculptures really are from looking at the photos.

Toledo reveals just how small his creations really are by placing unlikely props in the photos.

For instance, in the photo above, the artist placed a head of garlic in the room, and it takes up almost the entire space.

Toledo's final pieces are stunning, but they didn't come without challenges.

When asked what the most difficult part of creating his sculptures is, Toledo said he often struggles to figure out how to get the full interior into the camera's focus.

"When shooting a miniature, many of the main elements are only about a foot at most away from the lens," he explained. "Whereas when shooting a full-sized room, there is much more space to allow most of the elements to come into focus."

The artist also said that it can be difficult to capture the natural light in the photo, which adds to the realistic illusion.

"When shooting my pieces, I rely heavily on natural light. Sometimes I put the rooms right up against a sunny window to get that pop of natural sunlight to cast its light and shadows around a room," Toledo said. "I enjoy playing with lighting and angles to trick people into thinking they're looking at a real room."

Toledo said that many people feel nostalgic after seeing his work because they're often tricked into thinking they're looking at a real room upon first glance.

"My favorite response to my work is people telling me how a particular room reminds them of their childhood home or a place they once lived," he said.

As far as his plans for a new project, the artist told Insider that he is constantly thinking about what to do next.

"As a full-time artist, before I even finish a project, my mind is already teeming with 100 other projects and when it comes to miniatures … the only limit is your imagination," he said.

You can view more of Toledo's miniatures on his website and Instagram account.

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