iPhone Photography

30 October 2014 · 21 Comments

I've had a lot of questions recently about iPhone photography, so thought it would be best to compile all my top tips and round them up into one post. It's widely believed across the blogosphere that you need a super fancy (D)SLR camera to take good photos, but as long as you know how to get the best out of it, all you really need is the camera on your phone. No point spending all that money if your not even into photography! None of these tips are groundbreaking, and a lot is to do with personal taste, but here are some of my favourite tips on getting the best out of your phones camera. 

Taking the shot - Hold your phone like you would a camera, using two hands to prevent blurriness and get a sharper image. Focus the screen by tapping so the yellow box appears (to lock this in place, hold down for three seconds - this will then allow you to play around with the depth of focus, etc and get some beautiful and more interesting shots), and adjust the exposure by tapping shadowy areas if it is under exposed (too dark) or bright areas if it is looking over exposed (too light). 

Apps can really transform the looking of your photos and make them look like professional shots. I like to use them to brighten and enhance the image and sometimes add a filter or effects on top such as cropping to circles, etc. There are so many free ones out there, and of course, instagram is a favourite of mine, but it can sometimes be worth paying a little extra to get the more advanced software. 

My favourites: VSCOCam // Afterlight // A Beautiful Mess // Snapseed // Fuzel

Many makes perfect - It really pays off to take as many snaps as possible and then delete them until you find the best. All too often I only take one snap and then realise that it's blurry or I don't like the composition. Try and experiment with angles and landscape and portrait options etc and then pick out the best later. You don't want to miss out on those nice shots. 

Front/Back - I always try and use the back camera over the front, because the quality is just SO much better. It might meaning having to hope for the best in terms of angling the camera (especially when shooting selfies *ahem*) but it's definitely worth it for the better quality

Gadgets - For anyone wanting to experiment more with iPhone photography there are tonnes of nifty gadgets that you can get. I've recently been loving my Holga case (can be bought for iPhone 4/4S and 5/5S), which allows you the option of adding macro and other lenses on to get that toy camera effect, great for playing around with and I'm definitely looking into getting a little fish-eye next. 

Do you take photos with your phone? Any more tips to add to mine? 

Just Autumn Things.

23 October 2014 · 44 Comments

It's starting to feel a lot like Autumn, one of my favourite seasons of the year, so I thought I would put together a little post of things that I enjoy when the days start getting colder and it gets darker earlier. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments! 

Scarves // Berry Lips // Cosy Socks // Snuggling // Dark Nail Polish // 
Cups of Tea // Seasonal Drinks // Long Hot Baths // Cosy Jumpers // 
Golden Leaves // Dark Evenings // TV and Movie Nights // Lazy Days

A/W Nails.

21 October 2014 · 21 Comments

With November coming round quicker than I can believe, and the weather turning cold and autumnal, I decided now would be the perfect time to treat myself to some suitably seasonal themed nail polishes to go with the thick knit jumpers and berry tones that are currently filling my life. And what better colours than black and a dark burgundy to scream autumn and the end of all that is summer?

I've given the Collection Lasting Gel Colour a trial run before in the form of a gorgeous fuchsia which I wore all over the summer, so new that the formula was a good'un - glossy finish and a good staying power (plus they come with a wide brush - winner) - so when I stumbled across these two colours, in the aisles of Boots I knew I had found exactly what I was looking for. 

Red Vixen is a gorgeous rich wine toned burgundy which appears more black or red in certain lights. A classic colour, it's one that goes with everything and a dupe of the infamous Chanel Rouge Noir, it's one to get if you want to save a few pennies. Black Jack is just your average black, but I really like wearing it around this time of year to vamp up looks slightly, and it makes me feel like a witch - in a good way - perfect for Halloween. 

I don't think I will be wearing anything else on my nails, at least until after the new year, these two have definitely stolen my heart! What are your favourite shades for this time of the year? 

What's In My Bag.

15 October 2014 · 32 Comments

I thought I'd spill with you the contents of my bag and make use of an amazing new app that I found, just hover over the little circles and it will take you to a link where you can purchase the item - cool, huh? Sometimes I just love technology. I try and keep my bag as organised as possible, and have a little pouch with all the essentials (read: a whole stack of lip products that I probably never get round to using) that I can easily transfer from place to place so what you see is my bag in it's most ordered state - don't worry, I'm not super woman, it doesn't look like this most of the time! 

What are your bag staples?

UPDATE: The widget doesn't seem to be working ... well that's embarrassing isn't it? I've linked everything down below anyway, hope you still liked the post, haha!

Sunglasses* // Lip Gloss* // Lipstick // iPhone and earphones // Phone Case
Perfume // Gum // Mirror // Small Zip Bag* // Handbag

Everyday Nails

05 October 2014 · 39 Comments

Since moving schools, the rules about nail polish have toughened up, so I've had to seek out some alternative everyday shades, since I hate having bare nails so much. I was searching for a neutral baby-pink-ish shade for ages so when my lovely sister surprised me with OPI's Mod About You, it was the perfect thing to fit the bill. (plus, it's reduced right now to only £7 on BeautyBay - the link above!)

A very white toned pink, it's definitely stretching the rules on 'natural nail polish' a little, but so far I haven't been told off about it yet, so it is definitely one to search out if like me you love wearing something but your school or work are strict about colours. It also has the most incredible formula, only needing two layers to get a nice fresh opaque colour that sticks around (with the help of a good topcoat) for about a week - perfect timing to take them off and repeat on a Sunday evening for the following week. 

The brush is nice and thick, which makes application a breeze, and the finish is nice and glossy, unlike a lot of pastels which tend to dry fairly matte, so if you were short on time this would be fine without a topcoat and its one that I can see myself getting a lot of use out for a long time to come. 

So, a natural-ish polish that fits the bill for school has well and truly been found. What are your recommendations for natural nail colours? 

Teeth Whitening.

02 October 2014 · 15 Comments

I try and keep my pearly whites, as, well, pearly and white as possible with whitening toothpastes and general good oral care, but sometimes it is necessary (especially if you are a coffee/tea drinker like me) to give the those nashers a little boost. After searching for ages for a kit that would both whiten but protect the state of my teeth, and not be a problem for my sensitivity, I finally came across Smile Brilliant, and here's how it worked out for me. 

Last year I went through an experimental stage with Crest Strips, and whilst I like that there were some results, to me, they didn't look all that different and the pain and sensitivity in my teeth became too much, so I wasn't able to complete the course. What drew me to these was that they come with a desensitising gel, which I used even though I don't have particularly sensitive teeth and it really does make all the difference into making it a more pleasant experience. After finally deciding on this brand, the order was sent to me including desensitising gel, whitening gel (of a level which is perfectly safe to use on your teeth - another factor I was interested in, catalyst and base pastes and a gum shield like mould.

To make my personalised moulds, all I had to do was mix the base and catalyst paste together, squish it into the blue gum shield like case and then use it to make an impression of my teeth. Super simple to do, and the company were amazingly kind to send me a second set of pastes when I got the first one wrong. I sent the initial impressions back so they could make the custom tray for me and received them back within a week, even though they had to fly across the world to get to me! The company were really helpful, keeping me in the loop the whole time and telling me where everything was, which really impressed me and made me feel happy with the whole experience. They fitted perfectly, unlike trays that I have used in the past, and the crest strips which fell of my teeth and I felt like leaked into my mouth. The fact that they fit your teeth makes all the difference, making for more even whitening and a much more comfortable experience. 

I followed the instructions given, which I won't bore you with although they are really simple, and here are the final results - as you can see, it made a whole load of difference and I'm really happy with the stage that my teeth are at now. From only $119.25, and a pain-free, professional experience that you can do in the comfort of your own home, I would recommend these to anyone thinking about professional whitening, without the money to spare on it. 

Do you whiten your teeth, what are your experiences of it like?