Friday, 31 August 2012

HOW TO: Photoshop Your Photos

Hey everyone :)

I know a lot of people dismiss the idea of photoshopping photos, because they think that it means being 'fake' or 'you don't like your face' etc. I've heard some incredibly ridiculous stuff why people are against it.

But... there's no harm in photoshopping that one awkward pimple out. Do you get what I mean?

So I've decided to create this short tutorial, describing things that I use to make my photos look a little better. I don't do anything too dramatic with my photos, and I've made this super easy for others to follow.

What you'll need:
Photoshop

Photoshop is so expensive to buy, but I'm lucky because my brothers got it and let me use it too :) But if you're a student, take advantage of Photoshop because most colleges and Universities WILL have it!

Lets go!

Take your original photo:
So as you can see, I have dry skin on my chin from using PanOxyl (grr! Great topical cream but hate how it turns your skin dry!)
And I have a pimple there. Yeah. It's not hard to miss!
So my mission, is to get rid of the pimple and so soften out the skin in that area. I'm not too fussed with how everything else looks.


Take this Spot Healing Brush.
This tool just helps to make everything within that circle, look like the area around it. So it will get rid of the pimple and make it look like the rest of my skin.


See how it's practically disappeared? But it still looks natural right?

Next, I'm going to do something about the dry skin.



I'm going to use the Blur tool! There are other methods of using Blur filters, but that's a liiiitle bit more complicated and I will cover that in another post. But for now, we will use this simple blur tool.
You can adjust the strength of this blur; considering a lot of (Asian) photo editors - not saying any names - tend to go overboard with the blur.
And they end up blurring a lot of areas like around the mouth, the nose, fine hairs. That's why I kinda prefer if I still had some imperfections on my skin because otherwise it'll look too.. dramatically photoshopped.

If you want to do the whole blurring face, make sure you leave the eyes, lashes, around the nose, chin, neck, lips (even the little cracks) a few fine lines, free of blurring!

And so, I've blurred it. A little bit.

Next, I'm just going to adjust the colour - increase the contrast.


So click on to Curves...


And this will come up. You can have a play around with the presets or whatever, or have a go at the graph itself and adjust the contrast to however you want. I always try and make an 'S' shape, because then you'll have a nice complimenting Brightness & Contrast going on :)


So as you can see, my skins a little bit lighter but my hair has become more intense, my eyes are a bit more dramatic in colour and the background is much more darker. I didn't want to do too much contrast as the darks were already pretty dark. So instead I made it brighter :)

Ta da! 

This is the final picture.
Not bad huh for just a few clicks on photoshop right?

I hope you've enjoyed this little tutorial as I will make another on other ways of editing photos on Photoshop :) If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment.
~ xoxo
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What kinda job do you want, Ravi?

I've been thinking a lot lately. My career, my degree, my future... And how I'd want things to be like in the next 5 years or so. And just thinking about it is scary, I'll be like 25 and omg! Old! Nah I'm joking. When I hit 30 I will start to panic and reach for the anti-wrinkle serums.

But have you ever just wondered how things will be?

Well, we can't really do much about the future itself, so why should we worry about it? After all, we can give all of our energy into tasks today for a better tomorrow.

And so I've decided. I'm going to really step up my blogging and writing. I know I am pretty dedicated to my blog as I write something every day, but I really want to actually generate more content that people will actually WANT to read. So during University (when I have more chances to explore the town and actually venture out) I will be blogging much more about daily life, places, food, more advice but student related.
Right now I'm mainly writing advice and reviews on makeup etc, and that's all I can do at the moment!

Yeah, blogging. I know a lot of people think blogs are just kinda crappy online things where people write about things they've eaten or what they did in their day. But blogging is something that can be turned into a career.

 It is what you make of it.

That is why I am constantly writing up new posts and really experimenting about the things I write about and mixing it all up!

People don't really know all of the advantages that come with blogging; making friends, gaining worldwide readership, sponsors, opportunities to try new things out, being spotted out in town. And obviously, money.
But money is something that really needs to be earned, so when you really do work hard at blogging, then you will see all of the benefits.

But... some people may think of blogging as a task. Like something they are being forced to do... or they run out of inspiration. Which isn't right. You should blog because you want to, because you have something to share with the world, or... you just want to be in the spotlight :P right?
And I find blogging so theraputic... well writing in general. I find it much more easier than talking to be honest... which is weird. Because as I'm writing this, it's like I'm talking to you right now.
But anyway.

I'd love for this to be my job. It's still the beginning of my career though and new doors will open for me through blogging (I hope!) I've never really imagined myself working... which is really weird. I've always thought of doing something fun as a job, so I wouldn't actually call it 'work' haha, and this is something I'd totally love doing full time.

Yeah... I don't really know why I've posted all of this, but yeah. This is something I'd totally love to do! :) Maybe in 5 years time I will have succeeded into making this a proper job and earning the amount that regular workers make.


 If you could have any job, what would it be? Or do you blog and want to make it a career too?

~ xoxo
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Thursday, 30 August 2012

Reasons I Won't Read Your Blog

I thought I'd makethis more of a tips and advice blog for those that are blogging but notreally getting the views and readership they really want! So I'm going to re-name this:
"Ways to IMPROVE your blog :)"

So as you know, I've had my blog for less than a year (it'll be a year in December!) and I think I've done pretty well so far, almost 50k views and a lot of followers which I'm so grateful for! Things can only keep going up from here :)
And so, here are some things that I do that help me get more readers, but also things that I see on other blogs which I think have so much potential of being more well known.
So here goes!

1) Have more personality - Unless you're blogging about something really serious, or you're like reporting news (well even news reporting can be made more fun) try to add more personality in your writing.
I've come across a lot of blogs where they write really good stuff, but I love reading things where I feel like the blogger is actually talking to me. You get what I mean? I love that sort of blogger-to-reader relationship.
So how would you do this? Well... write how you'd normally talk. Write in all of your hahaha's, the OMG's, your opinions whether it's good or bad.

2) PICTURES - I'm one of those where I hate reading loaaaaaads of writing, and I love when writing is broken up by really nice photos. Or, sometimes I'll click on to a blog and most of their posts are just writing, whereas I'd be like "Who is writing this blog!?" So yeah, if you posted a bit about yourself so people can see, it'll help :) And yeah, I'm one of those where I'd read photo books rather than actual novels. I don't know haha I'm sure a lot of people like seeing a mix of photos and text!

3) Paragraphs - I know some people can write on and on and on. But why not break it up a little. Like post 3 sentences. Then a word.. and then like a sentence. But also make use of the bold, italics, font size stuff too. Do you get what I mean? No?

E.g:
 " Now this part is optional. I took a black gel liner (Maybelline) and started coating areas of the lashes where glue was visible. You don't have to do this but I did, as I knew it would save me time later when I apply them on. Also, the glue I used was from Soap & Glory and it dried in this eggshell shade, whereas usually I'd use a clear lash glue. 
Done!
So... how do they look? :)
 
Try it out at home and experiment!! :D "
 
Get it now? It helps to break up the text because it makes it much more easier on the eyes, and people are more likely to read all of what you have written.
 
4) Try and mix it up - There has been many times I've gone on to different people's blogs, yet their content is fairly similar. Like, they'd post NOTD or OOTD and that's basically it. And their reviews are pretty similar too with the swatches etc.  Like it's still great, but how about other things too. Like a nail tutorial of something that's really new, or something that isn't really heard of, or ways to wear an outfit. Things like that.
Tutorials are usually the posts that get more views :) So write up more How-To's!

5) Post more! - Again, a lot of blogs I've come across and they only post like once a week. And that'snot enough for me haha! I really love when people take blogging a bit more seriously, and blog either once a day or every other day. All the frequent blogging may seem a little tedious, as you end up running out of ideas, but why not post a set of photos as one, an opinion post, a tutorial, a review on either a makeup product or book or movie, an outfit post, a diary post etc. And mix it up!

 When you start blogging more, you'll see that you'll get twice the amount of views, and you will have more people coming back to see your blog!

6) Titles - Titles are a KEY thing to blogging. I've seen titles where it just explains what you're goin to read... and it gets a little boring. I love when people post titles that have a little mystery to them e.g "I'm so sick of this!" or "Can you guess what this is?" Or "It had suddenly hit me..". Things like that.
People will feel more inclined to think "Oh, what is this?" And they'll click on it.

7) Drama - We all love a bit of drama :P Whether it's Xiaxue vs Dawn Yang, or some other bloggers ripping each other. Sure, it's not really nice but it's fun to read. And I'm not saying that you should purposely start drama with someone, but it can make a really good blog post depending on how you write it.
Trust me.
I've been in a bit of drama the past few months, and just blogging about it has gotten me quite a lot of readership. Even if you were to talk about somethign dramatic like something in a tv show? Maybe?

8) Layout - I know some people aren't really creative in their blog layout, but it does make all the difference. Spend an hour or two on Photoshop or something and make a new header photo, and then customise your blog layout and colours. Because it will look like you've put in a lot of effort with your blog appearance and you'll look like a more authentic blogger :P hahaa.

Anyway, I hope this helps! And I'd love to see more blogs improving their content and layout because I know so many bloggers out there have so much potential to be really awesome!!

:D
~ xoxo
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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

DIY False Lashes

*Update*
I made a video tutorial on how to make your own False Lashes :)

Yes, I have to admit, I LOVE watching The Only Way Is Essex. I absolutely love that program, and I think all of the ladies are super pretty in their own ways! And after watching the episodes, I've been so intrigued on the girls makeup (especially Lucy Mecklenburgh as she's super pretty and my fave haha!) So, I've decided to look further into how they get their signature look. 
Other than their flawless faces, golden tans and their beautiful outfits... I wanted to try out something that all of the girls have in common (and that I could pull off as well)

Eyelashes.


Mario & Lucy - such a cute couple!


As you can see, she wears lashes and they make her eyes stand out, but also depending on the ones she wears, they look really natural too :) So pretty!

Now being the type to only wear lashes on special occasions such as parties and weddings etc, I do love the appearance that they give on the eyes. False lashes not only lengthen the appearance of your existing lashes, but they also make them look thicker, and help bring attention to your eyes.

So... I decided to create my own pair of false lahes (from existing lashes) but to look more dynamic and to make my eyes stand out... You'll see what I mean!


These lashes are basically ones that my sister had bought a while ago, they're Red Cherry lashes. And they're super thick and voluminous, and I tried them on... but... my eyes are pretty small and they literally looked too dramatic. I wanted something that was a more subtle but still drew attention to my eyes.

Remember these lashes I blogged about a while ago?


I have an extra pair of a different type of lashes.. and they're really inexpensive! Like £1 or £2 from eBay, all different styles and they come with 10 pairs. I have like a couple boxes of lashes in my room just waiting to be used haha!

So here is what I did:

So I used the lashes at the top as my base... and I had to see how the two lashes would look like together...


And it looks pretty messy... so I thought I'd cut it in half and glue it to the ends of the base lashes.


Like this..

But I'd wanted more volume in them, and cut up another lash in half, and applied it in the same area. And then like 1/4 of the original base lash type, on to the ends again. (To make the ends look really thick)

So I have like 3 layers of lashes on to the original base.


Ta daaaa!


Now this part is optional. I took a black gel liner (Maybelline) and started coating areas of the lashes where glue was visible. You don't have to do this but I did, as I knew it would save me time later when I apply them on. Also, the glue I used was from Soap & Glory and it dried in this eggshell shade, whereas usually I'd use a clear lash glue.



Comparing it to the Red Cherry lashes my sister bought...

You can see that the inner part of the eye won't have so much lashes, and then the outer lashes will look more dramatic.


Done!

So... how do they look? :)

Without... You can see my eyes look pretty small and although it looks natural, I don't really have anything that makes my eyes stand out!



You can really tell a difference, right? 




What do you guys think?

Try it out at home and experiment!! :D 

~ xoxo
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Tumeric Face Mask

Hey everyone!

I present you with a super awesome face mask that helps acne, blemishes, scarring, and dry skin! 

Here is what you will need:


(well all of that except the iPod, biscuits and remote haha :P)
 

This is the Asian spice tin that we have, contains like garam masala, red masala, tumeric powder, salt, mustard seeds, cumin seeds (I think!) But the main ingredient we need is Tumeric powder! :D
 

Tumeric Powder is super yellow and if you've had any experience with it, you will know that it can stain things a yellow shade (can be an intense yellow or pale yellow etc)
But fear not! Tumeric has SOOO many benefits! 
- Turmeric helps you reduce pigmentation on your face and even out your skin tone.
- Can greatly reduce the appearance of acne
- Help in maintaining the elasticity of the skin and prevent stretch marks.
- Turmeric has also been dubbed the wonder product because of its ability to fight free radicals. This excellent anti-oxidant is known to help prevent various diseases as well as cancer
- Regular washing with turmeric reduces facial hair growth significantly - Facial hair haha.
- Helps reducing gum infections
And many more!

But... we can't just apply Tumeric all over our face because you'll end up looking like a Simpson! Haha :P so here is what we're going to add to this mask :)


Natural Organic Yoghurt
 

Rice Flour (or you can use Gram flour too... just not regular plain flour haha)
 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil! Don't use anything other than Extra firgin, otherwise you'd might as well rub frying fat on your face eurgh. 
Basically Extra Virgin Olive Oil has been a well kept beauty secret for having a young looking and wrinkle free face. But don't worry, the oils in this are too big to be absorbed by your skin, therefore you won't break out or anything (if you're one of those who gets worried about applying oil to oily skin).
This won't make you break out at all :)


1 tablespoon - Yoghurt
1 tablespoon - Rice Flour
1/2 table spoon - Tumeric Powder
1/2 table spoon - Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Mix it all together to form a nice consistency, then apply it to your face. It'll look a little something like this...


Hahahahahahahaha it looks so weird!

So wait around 20-25 minutes, you'll start to see that the mask will harden and it may start to flake off if you move your face. Wash it with warm water and see the results!

When I used this mask and after I'd washed my face, I noticed that my skin was stained yellow (boo!) but, my face was so soft and smooth because of the Olive oil, and my scarring had faded a little (didn't look too intense). My face felt a little dry afterwards but that's because of the PanOxyl cream I use that's causing my skin to dry up. 
But nonetheless, this mask really does work wonders.

By the way, the mixture can be used for 3 or 4 people :)

~ xoxo
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Monday, 27 August 2012

What's missing?

Can you tell what's missing in this photo?


Well other than my tulip hair colour that's now faded (eurgh)

Lipstick? No.

Eyebrows!

When people apply makeup and usually want to do a natural sort of look, they often forget to fill in their eyebrows, AND you can tell. Notice how mine look really sparse, grey and almost non-existant? Yeah, I have really fine eyebrows so I really need to fill them in. I wasn't one of those lucky girls who woke up with perfectly shaped and dark eyebrows.

Most eyebrow compacts are awesome, I used the Eyebrow Kit by ELF. I lovee this as I've used it for months and I still have loads of the product left! I usually opt for the wax and powder kits, as brow pencils often look really streaky and look as if you've just drawn them on. Whereas powder can give a natural look, and wax helps to keep the brow hairs in place.

Some people think that eyebrows should be filled in the same consistency all of the way through. Wrong! Look at how your eyebrows are. The start of the brow is usually feathery, and then it gradually gets darker towards the arch and then the tip is usually darkest. So keep that in mind when you fill in your eyebrows - well if you want a natural look. If you're doing heavy eyemakeup like a smokey eye, then you can fill your eyebrows in more and make them darker throughout.


Tada!

Now forgive me for looking so excited in this photo haha, and yeah I put lipgloss on :)

Makeup I'm wearing:
Natural Collection Tinted Moisturiser - Beige
Mac Concealer - NC30
Body Shop Marble Bronzer
Maybelline Gel Eyeliner
Soap & Glory 'Thick & Fast' Mascara
False Eyelashes - eBay
ELF Eyebrow Kit
Rimmel London lipgloss (I forgot the shade)


~ xoxo
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Sunday, 26 August 2012

Yutakis James YSL Giveaway

One of my favourite bloggers is having an giveaway of a couple of YSL goodies! And this giveaway is open to absolutely anyone, all you have to do is follow instructions on his blog! (link below)

These are products which you could win:





Yeah I've entered this giveaway, but I thought others may like to enter so I am posting it here too! :)
It really is a badass giveaway. C'mon, YSL products, who wouldn't want them?!?! Haha!

Check out his blog and enter his giveaway HERE

~ xoxo
 
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Saturday, 25 August 2012

Bloggers Block?

I'm not really sure what to call it? Bloggers Block, considering I am still able to write about whatever so it's not Writer's Block. I just don't have anything currently to blog about.

I'm working on my book still, and received like the absolute bestest support from my boyfriend :D and I'm going to work on it some more today. I'm not sure how long it's going to take me to complete considering I'm still adding tons of things as I go along. But I'm getting there!

And omg 3 weeks until I start going to Huddersfield for University - my classes don't fully start until the 24th but I have a few days in the week before to go. And I cannot wait!!!

I will have more to blog about then because I will be out more and seeing new different things so I'm getting ideas ready for what I want to write about. Yet as for now, I am dedicating my time to book writing and getting that done within the next 2 weeks (I want it all complete!) So hopefully after like 24 hours of straight typing away at the keyboard I'll have it done! (Maybe?)

I've decided I'm going to self-publish it on Amazon and iBooks.. and see how that goes. I'm not sure about an actual physical book as I've looked into prices and I'm not so keen on paying a lot of $$$ especially as I'm a poor student haha!! But hopefully I'll see how things go and if all goes well, who knows!! :)

I will still be blogging but if you feel that my posts lack consistency, then I'm sorry! I've explained myself fully here! I'll still be posting a post per day so don't worry, you won't be missing me! ;)



~ xoxo
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Tutorials, Tutorials, TUTORIALS

Ever wanted to learn more about makeup? Or threading? Or about hair?

Then check out these videos from Simply Beautiful You :)


How to thread eyebrows 


One of my favourite makeup looks: 
Eid Green and Gold eyemakeup and red lips


Love & Relationship advice


Arabic Eye makeup


How to care for split ends!

Do check out her other videos as she has soooo many! 

~ xoxo
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Thursday, 23 August 2012

Need to LOSE weight?

Hey everyone :)

I want to share with you guys some tips on how to lose weight and also, how to keep your weight down.
Now first things first, the biggest I've been is like a UK size 12.. and now my current size is UK size 8. So it's not really much of a big thing, but I've lost that weight and managed to keep it off for like the past 4 or 5 years.

So, I just wanted to share with you some tips and tricks and some advice to help you shed a few pounds. Whether you want to get into a smaller dress or just in general haha.

1) Green tea : A lot of people tend to underestimate what green tea can actually do for you, not only is it high in antioxidants but it can help speed up your metabolism, it helps to prevent illnesses. 
But if you're not happy with the taste of green tea, opt for white tea. Which is basically the same thing if not better. It tastes less bitter and you can add in a bit of honey if you want to sweeten it up.
 Also, the fact that it's a warm drink can help you feeling full for longer and you don't feel the need to snack or whatever.

2) Switch foods : Instead of white bread, try wholemeal bread. And thats the same with pasta! Have brown rice instead of white rice - it has a different texture (almost nutty) but it tastes really nice (well I think so haha!). And instead of regular white potatoes, try sweet potato - which is my personal favourite!
"Sweet potatoes are also high in calcium, folate, potassium and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant which converts to Vitamin A in the body: one serving of sweet potatoes can provide you with as much as 700% of the US RDA for Vitamin A. The Center for Science in the Public Interest rates sweet potatoes as the number one most nutritious vegetable because they such are so nutritionally rich."

3) Work out : As well as improving your diet, do work out too! Whether you're actually going out walking, running or going to a gym. If you're just wanting to shed a few pounds without actually working out, then just walk. Trust me. Walking does help! Well... fast walking haha! Like say if you're shopping, walk around the shopping centre a couple of times - it may not be much but it's better than nothing, right?

4) Getting the most out of working out : One of my personal favourites is the treadmil where I do fast walking (with random 30 secs of sprinting) and switiching it up - to get the heart rate going - on incline. Basically when you're going up hill, you're actually burning twice the amount of calories (that's what I found).

So how I'd do it is to walk on the steepest incline for about 5 minutes (just to warm up), then up the speed, then do around ten 30 secs of sprinting with 1 min of fast walking in between. It really does work better, and you will definitely see a difference within 2 weeks.

5) Water, water, WATER! : You're usually meant to drink your body weight in water - so if you're 135 pounds/lbs, then drink 1.35 litres of water. And if you're working out, drink like half a litre more for every half hour you're working (something like that!).
Now they say you shouldn't drink excessive amounts of water because the electrolytes in your body become imbalanced and that's not good BUT that's only when you're drinking like 5 litres a day or something.
So stick between 1 or 3 litres a day.
But also you need water to keep hydrated, to keep your mind working, and also to prevent you from snacking. A lot of the time people mistake thirst for hunger, and begin to eat snacks and meals when really you should be just having a glass of water instead.
Andddd, your body recycles water and you don't want it to keep recycling dirty water, right?

6) Small meals : Now this is for people who want to lose weight but still want to eat the foods that they love. Eat small meals but frequently. Like sometimes I'll have mainly protein (chicken mostly) and some veg with it. Or I'll have a baked sweet potato by itself. Or I'll have fried egg on toasted bread. I know it doesn't sound like much but it's all that fills me up, and I like eating that too haha. (I know I'm so boring with my food).
And I've noticed that if I do this, and if I go out somewhere that I know I'll be eating loads of food, I won't feel guilty or anything and I'll just eat whatever and how ever much I'd like haha.



Anyway, I hope this helps those of you wanting to shed a few pounds or stones.

~ xoxo
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PanOxyl Aqua Gel 10% review ~

If you're not familiar with PanOyl Aqua Gel (or Acne Gel) it is a topical cream which contains Benzoyl Peroxide to help treat the bacteria on the skin that causes acne.

Basically, the bacteria cannot survive around oxygen, which is what this product is (the -oxide haha) and it helps skin shed quicker so your skin will get dry.. but new skin will be coming through.



Around 10 years ago, my brother used this because he had really bad acne, and like his skin now is as clear as a babies. And my mum has always been telling me to use PanOxyl, yet I never really wanted to use it. I don't know why.
Because after reading about it, it seems pretty legit. (Haha omg did I just say legit).

So I wanted to try it because I really am fed up with my skin and I just want it clear already. And I went to Tescos (food shopping obv) and went to the Pharmacy bit and asked them for the cream. And the guy gave me the 10% one, maybe because he saw how bad my skin was... But anyway like you can get different percentages, 2.5% being for the not so bad acne and then 5% for medium and then 10% for more serious acne.

I went home and tried it straight away!

When I first applied the cream, it felt light and cool and there was so itching or tingling sensations. It was only until 10 minutes later when my mum noticed my face looked a little red but this redness faded after another 10 minutes or so. After two or three uses, I felt my skin feeling tight and dry so I just applied some of my Organ Oil moisturiser from Hollan & Barrett and it was fine.

What I found with this product is that it does dry your skin up SO much! And it can feel really itchy and burning, but those are just the first few side effects of it and these claim to disappear after multiple uses of the product.
My skin was really dry and rough in some areas, and peeling (because this cream helps to increase the time which skin sheds and helps new skin) but after the skin has peeled, it feels SO SOFT omg.

A few days into using this cream, I had noticed that despite my skin drying up, my scarring still remained. Which is kinda annoying and I really want something to remove the scarring. Nonetheless, this product does work well for existing acne. 

On the upside, I've noticed that I applied makeup on top of this cream (despite it looking a little dry), my face looked pretty clear despite only wearing a tinted moisturiser.

I will post more updates on this each week and show you my progress!! :)

~ xoxo
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