6.30.2015

Trend Tuesday // 5 Posts to Improve Photography

I've always liked the notion that the best camera you can use is the one you'll take with you.  Now a days we have amazing cameras right in our pockets - right next to our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds.  My iPhone is my go to camera because it is light, easy to use, and right there with me.  I can take a ton of photos and edit on the go - no need to upload to my computer, edit, etc.  A smartphone is so handy.

Up north I feel like as soon as Summer hits I want to take all the photos!  It is just so dark in the Winter time that it hard to get a lot of light to take nice images.  I love the warm tint to the photos you take in the Summer....just says 'yay warm weather' to me.  Light and airy images are hard to capture in the winter because there's like a slight blue tint to them.  Am I crazy?  Anyway, here are five posts you can find on the blog here to improve your photography this summer:

If you want to improve the way you look at life through your camera, I suggest this post.  There are 5 types of pictures to take to change the way you see your surroundings.  Changing your perspective will help you learn to see your surroundings differently and help you capture interesting image.

In this post I mention some easy tips to us the camera in your pocket.  In this post I share the biggest tip for interesting photos - composition.   The rule of thirds, as demonstrated in the photo above, is the easiest way to take interesting and well composed photos.  Most native camera apps and apps that allow you to take a photo will have the option to turn a grid on.  This lays a cross hatch pattern across the image so you can compose your photo in an interesting way.  Learn more about composition and pairing down your background to capture interesting photos in this post.

Create the Perfect Black and White Photo
There are so many camera apps that allow you to turn your image to black and white.  Sometimes the simplicity of an image translates well in to a black and white photo and sometimes you just want to add a bit of drama or just have fun with filters.  This post has 4 app examples that allow you to turn an image black & white.

iPhone Photos Become Blog Worthy
This post is an oldie but a goodie when it comes to editing your iPhone photos.  When I first got my iPhone, my favorite app for editing photos for the blog was Camera+.  Since then the app has updated but the tips are still true.  My current favorite photo editing apps are Afterlight & Snapseed.  Check out this post for tips on using Camera+.

Four Collage Apps for Summer Blogging
Collages are a great way to document many parts of a day.  If you want some fun collage apps check this post.  There are a ton of ways to share more than one image at once.  Collages are great for showing a process as well.  My go to collage app is Pic Frame because of the many frame options it offers.  I usually do a square canvas to post to Instagram but you can change the canvas size as well.  If you print photos for Project Life, Pic Frame is a cool way to add a collage to your layout!  See the full app review here.  If your into adding text over your images, check out this post on my favorite overlay apps here.

I hope this little round up was helpful in making your Summer photography a learning experience.  You can capture some amazing images with just your phone camera.  Please check out the iPhoneography category on the blog for more posts like the ones mentioned above!

Happy shooting!

xoxo, Moe

What are your favorite photo apps?  Any ones of note for Android users?

6.16.2015

Current Summer Make Up Favorites

If you haven't noticed, I've been pairing down my make up routine lately.  I'll start with a full face on Monday and by Friday I'm lucky if I even have on concealer. (My favorite concealers are in this post!)  See the thing is....I like to sleep a bit longer!  I've been just doing a bit of concealing, some lipstick, my brows, and mascara lately but on a recent trip where I knew I needed a foundation with a bit of SPF, I rediscovered a BB cream I got from Big Lot's of all places.  I'm not sure if you can get this anywhere anymore...the only listing I found was of one left on Amazon.
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here
The Epielle BB Cream has become my go to foundation because it is easy to apply, light weight, but has a the coverage I'm looking for.  My face has gotten better recently - with redness and overall acne/breakouts - so I've been going for lighter coverage.  For some reason my usual full face, full coverage look hasn't been appealing to me.  I've been loving a lighter, fresh faced look....which is surprising!!  This BB Cream has SPF 20, claims to moisturize, prime, smooth, brighten, even tone, and protect.  It also says it has sheer coverage but I'm surprised at how well it evens my skin.  It is a great base for natural summer make up.
In addition to the BB Cream I've been setting my face with the Balm Sexy Mama translucent powder.  This is also something I rediscovered!  I love that it is light weight and I really do think it keeps me nice and shine free for a good long while.  The compact does have a mirror but no little sponge so it's not that great on the go - I am thinking about sticking it my puse though because I have a retractable kabuki brush with me.  
For blush I've been loving the subtle look of the Elf Mineral Blush in Jet Setter.  I have all four of the shades and a review + swatches of them all in this post.  Jet Setter has to be my favorite of all of the blushes in the collection.  It is matte and just the perfect shade of a natural flush.  I find this blush is perfect all year long.
As for lips, I've been going more natural if you can consdier it that.  Sort of the my lips but better shades.  I've been loving the Too Faced Melted lipstick in the shade Melted Fig for a while now and pulled it out again for the summer.  Some other natural colors I've been loving are the Elf Moisturizing Lipstick in the shade Wink Pink and the Wet N Wild Megalast Lipstick in Rose-Bud.  Side note: I can't wait to see if & when the Wet n Wild Fergie line comes out with anything crazy for the Summer.   Last year I snatched up all their fun lipstick shades!

As always I suggest if you're going to do any online shopping for beauty products to see what kind of deals you can score through HauteLook and Ebates.  The Balm is on HauteLook quite often so keep a look out.  Amazon also has pretty great deals on The Balm as well.  If you're shopping on the Elf website I just found that they are a part of Ebates now!  Ebates gives you cash back for shopping through their link - just go to the Ebates website, search the retailer you're looking for (like Eyes Lips Face) and you'll be securely redirected to the retailers site and if you purchase, you'll earn whatever the cash back deal is at the time.  I use Ebates any time I purchase high end make up online - I used it to purchase a Mac MSF through Nordstrom since Mac isn't a part of Ebates (plus I believe Nordstrom does free shipping! score!)

What are your go to Summer make up staples?  Anything new you're trying out?

xoxo, Moe

6.11.2015

Eight Overlay Apps for iPhone Users

Recently the Paint Paper Studio app was released in the app store (designed by Olya Schmidt - follow her blog or instagram) and it prompted me to share some apps I love that have fun overlays.  You can use these apps to add fun sayings/clipart/doodles/etc to your photos oooorrrrr you can use them to create digital or printable journaling cards or stickers.  (Thank you Criss from StopnJotCrafts on Instagram, Facebook, and Etsy for sharing your crazy cool idea with me!)  I am addicted to photo apps and used to share a whole hell of a bunch here on the blog.  I feel like I need a million gig iPhone to store them all.  I'm so glad I have an iPad and an iPhone because I can hoard all the photo apps!

Here are my fave apps with overlays to add fun to your photos:
just realized the far right image in the collage is the ABM app + Paint Paper Studio
Paint Paper Studio - Free (in app purchases)
This app has a variety of hand drawn backgrounds that you can use or you can import your own image from your camera roll.  Artwork is provided by various artists which means you get a lot of variety in styles.  There are sayings and doodles included for free but you can purchase various packs to create even more designs.  I loooovvveee the polka dot patterns included in the app.  The only downside is that there is no custom text option so you can not add your own text.
This is the only app I've found with the largest overlay library.  They claim to have 38,000 graphics in their library!  To access the full library of overlays you'll need to be connected to wifi.  There is a new offline option but you don't get the full force this app has to offer.  Because there are so many option there are categories and a search option.  You can even visit the marketplace to find more licensed overlays (Disney, etc). Open photos from your camera roll, instagram, facebook, driver, and more!  You can create a collage or edit a single photo with some of the filters offered and add custom text.  You're not limited to just the predesigned artwork offered.  This app is truly an all in one app.

(I have a full review on Phonto and I've used TextMask in this tutorial)
These two are designed by the same company and pretty much do the same thing.  They are text over photo apps - one does a text mask where the font is filled by the photo you have behind it and the other is simply text over a photo.  The unique thing about this is that you can import your own fonts and create your own designs.  There are no true overlays in these apps but you can use the fonts to your advantage and create your own designs.  There are free and for purchase backgrounds and you as the designer have a lot of control over the text options.  You can align the text you've added, create a curve, etc.  These are fun design tools.  I have Phonto on all my devices and use it all the time for blog, Instagram and YouTube content.
This app was designed by the crew behind the blog A Beautiful Mess.  It features a bunch of hand drawn overlays - borders, frames, and doodles - but you can not add your own custom text.  You can design a square or rectangle image and the borders/frames will adjust to the design.  The overlays are in a specific style of the ABM designers so you won't get different artist's take on things but if you love the blog you'll love the overlays.  You can also create a single image or a collage.  There are fun collage options too - triangle, chevron, heart - to create a neat effect.
I love this app because of the unique mix of overlays, backgrounds, and font packs.  There are overlays for any occasion, fonts to mix and match with the overlay styles, and fun vintage wallpaper inspired backgrounds.  Out of all these apps I love the patterned backgrounds of the Rhonna Designs app.  This app has a text mask feature built in as well so you can adjust the opacity to get a fun look.  
This app is new to me but it's pretty cool.  Import from your cameral or use the backgrounds provide and overlay really awesome shapes - including state shapes and greek letters for a sorority or fraternity themed designs.  There are a few font packs as well for adding your own text.  A fun feature that I haven't quite figured out how to use the best yet is the glitter feature. The overlays can be filled with a glitter design instead of a solid color.  There aren't too many overlays but the state shapes really got me (didn't you know I love our states?)  Unfortunately you can only save your designs in a square format which makes it great for Instagram but not my favorite for printing.
This app has fun hand drawn and script inspired text overlays to create inspirational images or fun dingbat doodles.  Change the colors of the overlays and add multiple ones to create a unique image.  The design of the app isn't fluid enough for my tastes as I find I have to do too many steps to delete an image but the artwork is unique enough for me.  There aren't too many overlays but the ones they have are really impressive for making journaling cards!

I hope this little round up has helped you find some apps to download and play with.  Even a search in the app store of overlay apps will return a lot of different ones to play around with.  You never know what you'll find, I'm always on the hunt for more.

What are your favorite overlay apps?  Any specific ones that just blow your socks off?  Please share!

xoxo, Moe