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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tips for Taking & Editing Photos

I've been blogging now for about 3 years (can you believe it?!?) and although I'm still no expert photographer or photo editor I have definitely picked up some tips and tricks to editing my photos.

I use my phone (Samsung Galaxy S6) primarily for my blog photos. It's just so conventient... and let's be honest I can't justify buying an expensive camera. And I'm sure many of you do the same.

Aura Photo Frames is sharing the guide below on tips for great pictures from your phone and asked me to include it in a post. I love these tips and have started incorporating them into my photography. So it seemed like a great fit to write about how I take and edit photos.

Aura Photo Frames are smart frames that making displaying your phone photos easy.  They automatically choose your best pictures and sort out blurry or duplicate pictures. 

Taking Great Pictures with your Phone

If you're interested in learning more about the frames, or placing an order you can do so here.

Now that you can take great pics with your phone, I wanted to show you my favorite apps for editing them.

Apps for Editing Pictures

Once I've taken photos with my phone I select the best one(s) and use a few different photo editing apps to prepare them to post on the blog and on social media. I use different apps for different features, below are my favorite picture editing apps:

Photoshop Express (Android/iPhone)

Original Picture

Edited in Photoshop Express
This mobile Photoshop doesn't have all the orignal's bells and whistles but it does offer a little more than your average app - Along with exposure, color, and saturation, you can adjust the whites, highlights and shadows of your pictures.

 It also has the ability to remove redeye and blemishes (which can come in handy) and has a nice cropping feature and filters to play with.

I like that this app is intuitive and easy to use, I use it for almost all my social media postings. 

Photogrid (Android/iPhone)

Original Picture

Edited in Photogrid

I use Photogrid whenever I want to make a photo collage. This app is also pretty simple and straightforward. It gives you options for the grid layout, background colors, and border thickness. I also use this app alot for adding text to my photos as it's got pretty great fonts and format features. 

You can also edit your photos in this app, but I usually edit them in Photoshop Express first. 

Pixlr (Online)

Example at top of post

If you don't want to shell out for Photoshop, Pixlr is a great alternative. There's no signing up or downloads required, and it's a pretty robust option for photo editing. 

It has a similar layout to Photoshop, so if you're familiar with that you'll step right into Pixlr, You can do a lot with this app, my most commonly use features are: curves, color balance, cropping, and image resize.

I edit most of my blog pictures using this app and find that it does a great job for my basic needs.

Well those are my most used photo editing apps for social media and blog posts. I hope this post helps you with taking pictures using your phones and editing them afterwards. Remember, as a beginner (and beyond) it's ok not to have the msot fancy equipment, just keep practicing and you'll improve. I kow I just keep getting better and better. 

Thank you!
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Bold Lips done Cruelty-Free

||Originally Post at: Denver Style Magazine||

|Photography by: Krysta's Kaptures|

I'm all about the bronzer, lighter bases, and big lashes for my usual spring and summer makeup. But for this year there was a trend all over the spring/summer runways that had me intrigued: a bold lip colors with barely-there makeup. I saw these looks at the Chanel, Valentino and Jason Wu runways (just to name a  few).

This is way out of my comfort zone! Anyone who knows me, knows I don't usually (ever) wear lipstick. I am a chapstick girl through and through. But I'm always down to try new looks and this sounded fun.

For these looks to have the easy, breezy feel I wore minimal makeup: a light foundation with lots of bronzer and a bit of mascara. Definietely summer friendly! I love that it's a pretty easy look but you look pulled together, and it's so quick.

So here's my cruelty-free take on bold lips with a no-makeup makeup look!

#1 Berry Pink

I think I've decided pinks are my favorite lip colors to wear, and I especially love this metallic color. For a matte lip, it's pretty comfortable and it just brings something extra special to a look.

#2 Orange-y Red

I think this is the most "Amber-friendly" formula. It's a light gel stain that you can leave pretty sheer or build up for more color. I think it gives that cool popsicle-stained lip look that's popular in South Korea. And this color is great for when you have a bit of a tan and brightening up a look. I'll definitely be picking up the more pink-red color of this too!

#3 Vampy Purple

Ok, this is the most out there of the colors and it's a little crazy But I saw something similar on the Acne Studios runway so I thought, why not?! It's definitely very striking and would be fun for a night out with the girls dancing. I'd feel special without having to worry about my eyeliner going all panda on me!

All Together Now!

Pink Lips

Red Lips

Purple Lips

I think I'll be busting this look out more and more as the temperatures rise. You know when you're lucky to put on a bra let alone a full face of makeup! So what do you think? Would you try this trend?

Test your Cruelty-Free Beauty knowledge and support a great cause here!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Best Smudge-Proof Mascara for Dry Eyes

I can't believe I haven't written about this! Everyone's always looking for a new favorite mascara.

I'm now on my third tube of this mascara and I've never written an actual review here on my blog, oh man, talk about failing as a beauty blogger! Well I am here today to right this wrong and tell you all about the mascara that saved my life.

Lol, ok so I'm being ridiculously over-dramatic. But you feel me, with mascara it can sometimes feel like a life or death moment when you're favorite starts to dry out.

For the last few years I've had all kinds of issues with mascaras, even some of my old favorites because of my chronic dry eye. I am always squinting my eyes to make them water (one way to get relief) or putting in eye drops. This wreaks havoc on any mascara I try. Usually by lunch I'm looking more like a panda than lady. Not a cute look, I promise you!

But I finally found it, the mascara! It doesn't smudge or flake, it's really black and lengthening, and can handle my crazy eyes.

Elizabeth Mott

You can buy it on Amazon (it has a 4 star rating) for about $15. By some miracle, this Korean brand is cruelty-free. My beauty prayers have been answered!

My Holy Grail Mascara

I'm wearing this in the picture above. As you can see it provides a lot of length and is very black. I do wish it added more volume, because you know lashes you can see from space are really my goal. But for all the other perks and lack of panda eyes, I love this stuff!

Let's Chat

What's your holy grail mascara?
What do you look for in a great mascara?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

New Golden Blonde Hair Color

I've been blonde for a while now, you can see my original blonde hair here. After 6 months (I know!) I felt like it was time for a change. I wanted to go more natural and blended so I could go longer between salon appointments, because they definitely add up.

Unfortunately (for me), my hair stylist moved to California at the end of last year, so I've been on the hunt. During my search I came across Aveda Salons, Aveda is cruelty-free so I thought I'd give a salon near my house a chance.

I really enjoyed the Aveda experience. 1st: everything smells amazing! 2nd: free hand massage, yes! and 3rd the stylist, Haley was really nice and asked all the right questions, so I felt she was paying attention to what I wanted. I'll definitely be going back. Below is the info if you're in the Denver-Metro area.

Zandi K Salon

My new color is a warmer dark blonde or light brown and I think it suits my skintone a little better than my worn-out blonde. I also love how well it blends!

So without further the before and after:



I tell ya, if I could get my hair washed and blow dryed all the time I would. I love how pretty it looks here.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Asos Swimsuit Wishlist for a Big Bust

Asos Swimsuit Wishlist

Oh swimsuits... why are you so hard to buy? Why do you show off every lump, bump, and roll? It's been years since I've had to buy a swimsuit, and that suited me just fine (ha ha I had to!). 

As you probably know, I've dealt with confidence and weight issues a lot over the last 3 or 4 years. So I haven't bought a swimsuit in years... lots and lots of years. But in about a month and a half I'm going to Costa Rica and will be needing swimwear! Hello Ocean :) So I'm taking the plunge and purchasing 2 suits - life lesson folks: you need 2 swimsuits on vacation, one = wearing a soggy suit, gross!

Besides my body image issues, I find buying a swimsuit difficult because I am a busty gal, I have big boobs! And most stores don't carry suits large enough for the ladies but small enough around. I'm in plus size around, I'm pretty small... so this is an issue, especially one pieces! In swimsuits my boobs are either up to my chin, or spilling out the front and sides and everywhere... or worse yet, the dreaded uni-boob. No fun.

When I found out Asos has a DD+ Swimwear line I was "jump out of my seat and inappropriately tell my coworker" excited! You can select your band and cup size in a wide variety of swimsuits. They offer bikinis, high-waisted two-pieces and one piece suits. So for the 1st time ever, I've actually ordered all the suits on a wishlist!

I will try them all on and report back to you on sizing, comfort, boob-holdage (it's a thing), and which ones, if any, I keep. Here's to the struggle ladies and finding a great swimsuit!

For more wishlists check out: Asos Spring Wishlist | Going Out Wishlist | Spring Wishlist

Also, stay tuned for a new Denver Style Magazine blog post this Thursday, it's a good 'un!

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